Strange Heart Beating | Granta

  • Published: 04/05/2017
  • ISBN: 9781783783496
  • 135x20mm
  • 208 pages

Strange Heart Beating

Eli Goldstone

Seb’s beautiful, beloved wife Leda has been killed by a swan. Sorting through her belongings after her death, he comes across a packet of unopened letters from Olaf, a man whom Leda had never mentioned. Floundering professionally and sunk by grief, he decides to travel to Leda’s home village in Latvia to patch her story together. But with each new person that he turns to for answers, Seb is met instead by more questions about Leda, her past and their life together.

A darkly funny, seductive novel that confronts the black undercurrent of possession inherent in love, Strange Heart Beating is a breathtaking debut from an author whose vision is both acerbic and tender.

Goldstone's book combines all-consuming grief with playful, knockabout drama... Strange Heart Beating, with its savage yet comforting undercurrent of a swan as an emblem of the soul reborn, is an ardent examination of loss, framed by multiple cultural allusions [and] is a reminder of the unknowability of those we truly love

Financial Times

There are funny moments in this book and sensuous descriptions of green, wolf-filled wildness of the Latvian forest, but it's also incredibly melancholy. Death and darkness are an inevitable part of life, especially in Eli Goldstone's world. But she expresses this so beautifully and simply that Strange Heart Beating is a joy to read

Anna Fielding, Emerald Street

If the Coen Brothers had a sister, she would likely write like Goldstone, her pen dipped in weird black ink, piquant with fantasies and dread delusion

Jewish Chronicle

The Author

Eli Goldstone lives in London and is a graduate of the City University Creative Writing (Novels) MA. She is the former prose editor of Cadaverine. She is the author of Strange Heart Beating (Granta 2017).

More about the author →

Eli Goldstone on

Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition

On Jesus’ Son

Eli Goldstone

‘Jesus’ Son is a song, a glorious clear hymn, full of the notes of bad decisions, of rotten fucking luck, of causing real and lasting damage to yourself and to the people around you.’

Five Things Right Now | The Online Edition

Eli Goldstone | Five Things Right Now

Eli Goldstone

‘The closest I come to meditating is sitting in front of a tumble dryer with a dead magazine.’

Fiction | The Online Edition

Strange Heart Beating

Eli Goldstone

‘Grief is the aggressive displacement of the self from a known universe to another.’