The Snow Queen

The Snow Queen

Michael Cunningham

Barrett Meeks, having lost love yet again, is walking through Central Park when he is inspired to look up; in the sky he sees a pale, translucent light that seems to regard him in a distinctly godlike way. Barrett doesn’t believe in visions—or in God—but he can’t deny what he’s seen.

At the same time, in nearby Brooklyn, Tyler, Barrett’s older brother, a struggling musician, is trying to write a song for Beth, his wife-to-be, who is seriously ill. Tyler is determined to write a wedding song that will not be merely a sentimental ballad but an enduring expression of love.

Barrett, haunted by the light, turns unexpectedly to religion, while Tyler grows increasingly convinced that only drugs can release his creative powers.

Cunningham follows the Meeks brothers as each travels down a different path in his search for transcendence. In subtle, lucid prose, he demonstrates a profound empathy for his conflicted characters and a singular understanding of the human soul. Beautiful, unexpectedly comic and truly heartbreaking, ‘The Snow Queen’ proves again that Cunningham is one of the great novelists of his generation.

Reviews of The Snow Queen

    • ‘Clean and sharp as an ice crystal; a brief but profound and poetic meditation on love, death and compassion from a master craftsman of language’ Observer
    • ‘Michael Cunningham’s resonant new novel . . . is arguably [his] most original and emotionally piercing book to date’ New York Times
    • ‘The pursuit of transcendence in all kinds of forms — music, drugs, a McQueen minidress, and those things less tangible but no less powerfully felt — drives Michael Cunningham’s best novel in more than a decade’ Vogue