Maud Casey

The Man Who Walked Away
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“[P]oetic and beautiful...Intimate and deeply human, the challenges of reading a narrative of madness are well rewarded with insight, beauty and understanding.” Historical Novel Society

“[D]azzlingly intelligent, and enchanting, the kind that we rarely read in these cynical, 'sophisticated' times. Casey is deeply intuitive about the ways both memory and story work. Nothing unfolds in the usual way. Like the rivers that meander across the continent and across this book, the threads are so interwoven, so mysteriously bound up with a million other incidental moments, that it’s impossible to know what triggered what. The Man Who Walked Away is like standing near the ocean and watching the perfect wave.” Irish Examiner

“Lyrical in its style and fascinating in its psychology, Casey's narrative provokes a host of intriguing questions beyond those the Doctor raises, and Casey is wise enough as an author not to provide easy answers.” Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Rendered in luxuriously poetic prose....Casey has constructed a rich and evocative narrative that fittingly resonates with this sense of transience while at the same time giving shape and form to a story based on absence.” The National (Abu Dhabi)

“Listen. It's a command that Maud Casey's quick to utter, and it's one she repeats often in her new novel. With good reason: If you're listening closely enough, you might just hear her pull off a feat as graceful as it is clever. Out of the clanging of church bells, the ticking of watches, the snatches of overheard phrases, even the two clashing voices at the heart of her book—out of this hectic mess of sounds, she manages to create a delicate harmony.” NPR

“Casey is a consummate stylist, and her new book is so richly engaged with language, so profligate with glorious sentences, that at times the prose ascends to the level of poetry. This is a writer who pays a deep, sensual attention to the world.” The New York Times Book Review

“Casey's haunting third novel is both unconventional and engaging....Our need for stories, our relationship with time, the inevitability of loss, and our startling endurance all resonate through her beautifully crafted interweaving of image and observation, fairy tale and fact.” Publishers Weekly (starred)

“So when I say that this is an astonishing novel, please do not misunderstand me as using a praise-y abstraction to avoid getting to the meat of the text....This book is as simple and complex, accessible and inaccessible, as we are, and astonishing.” Reading at Recess

“Albert walks and walks until he falls over from exhaustion, traveling always in a fog. He wakes in unfamiliar cities and finds himself thrown in jail. He walks so much that he forgets his home and his past, losing more and more of himself with every step. Movement is a compulsion, and causes Albert to forfeit human connection and defy any attempts to keep him restrained. The Man Who Walked Away traces his journey, but is most compelling in the description of his encounters with the doctor who tries to unlock the secrets in his past. Their symbiotic relationship is the heart of this elegant, thoughtful novel.” The Rumpus

“Maud Casey's spectacular third novel, The Man Who Walked Away, is a meditation on the elusive nature of time and life, the way they approach and leave us.” Washington Independent Review of Books

“[A] novel set at the dawn of psychiatry, when Sigmund Freud, Georges Gilles de la Tourette, Alfred Binet and the young Tissié were gathering in Paris to study under the great neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot. Although it names no names, Casey's book is a vivid chronicle of the time, bringing alive the mysteries and joys of a fledgling science.” The Washington Post

“Only a writer as brilliant as Maud Casey could write a novel as understated, urgent, and mysterious as The Man Who Walked Away. In her deft and deeply empathetic hands, this book about dark things—terror, fragility, memory, and illness—shimmers with a rare and wondrous beauty.” Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies

“Maud Casey's The Man Who Walked Away is a haunting, deeply empathetic, and rigorously intelligent novel. It is also a seamless marvel of construction and language. The Man Who Walked Away cast a spell from which I never wished to wake.” Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon

“Maud Casey's ensorcelling marvel of a novel, The Man Who Walked Away, starts with a wind, the poet's element, that blows over, through and past all, transporting us, as great art will, to the wonderment of being in the world, or in Albert's case, not in the world. Casey's novel is an axe to the ice-encased heart, musically wrought, deeply affecting, wise, and consolatory.” Christine Schutt, author of Prosperous Friends

The Man Who Walked Away is a book of enchantments of an extremely intelligent kind. Dreamlike and sharply real, the novel unfolds in a nineteenth-century asylum where all the inmates have their own poetry of delusion, fear turned to metaphor. Wildly original fiction, with a particular melancholy magic.” Joan Silber, author of Ideas of Heaven and The Size of the World