‘One of the finest accounts of the mysterious workings of grief I have ever read.’ Helen Macdonald
I tore the arse of my pyjamas one morning, about a year before he died, and my father sewed it up perfect in a few minutes, just like that. I was looking at them this morning actually, his line of white stitches. It’s beautiful really. They’ve held.
‘Beautiful, strange and completely compelling.’ Olivia Laing
‘I read it with awe and sorrow.’ Fatima Bhutto
After the sudden death of his father, Nick Blackburn embarks on a singular, labyrinthine journey to understand his loss. How do you create an existence when all you can see is a void?
The Reactor is a memoir about absence and creative possibilities, assembled like the pieces of a puzzle. Through philosophy, music, fashion, psychology, art and film, Blackburn travels a vast panorama of ideas and characters to offer an entirely new exploration of grief. This is a book about looking for and finding chain reactions and human connection – a work of enduring fragmentary beauty.