Author(s): Robin Robertson
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018
Shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2018
Winner of The Roehampton Poetry Prize 2018
'A beautiful, vigorous and achingly melancholy hymn to the common man that is as unexpected as it is daring' John Banville, Guardian
A noir narrative written with the intensity and power of poetry, The Long Take is one of the most remarkable - and unclassifiable - books of recent years.
Walker is a D-Day veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder; he can't return home to rural Nova Scotia, and looks instead to the city for freedom, anonymity and repair. As he moves from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco we witness a crucial period of fracture in American history, one that also allowed film noir to flourish. The Dream had gone sour but - as those dark, classic movies made clear - the country needed outsiders to study and dramatise its new anxieties.
While Walker tries to piece his life together, America is beginning to come apart: deeply paranoid, doubting its own certainties, riven by social and racial division, spiralling corruption and the collapse of the inner cities. The Long Take is about a good man, brutalised by war, haunted by violence and apparently doomed to return to it - yet resolved to find kindness again, in the world and in himself.
Robin Robertson's The Long Take is a work of thrilling originality.
Robin Robertson is from the north-east coast of Scotland. He has published five collections of poetry and received a number of accolades, including the Petrarca-Preis, the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and all three Forward Prizes. He has also edited a collection of essays, Mortification: Writers' Stories of Their Public Shame, translated two plays of Euripides, Medea and the Bacchae, and, in 2006, published The Deleted World, a selection of free English versions of poems by the Nobel laureate Tomas Transtroemer. He lives in London.