Sign up for our newsletter to get 20% off site-wide! Learn More »

A Theater for Dreamers

By Polly Samson

Product details

Published By
Algonquin Books
Categories
Number Of Pages
368
Publication Date
May 11, 2021
ISBN
9781643751498

A Theater for Dreamers

By Polly Samson

Shipping to the U.S. only. Please see our International FAQ for more information.

Coming Soon

Also available at

Description

THE UK BESTSELLER

"Sublime and immersive . . . If you wish you could disappear to a Greek island right now, I highly recommend." —Jojo Moyes, #1 bestselling author of Me Before You


It’s 1960, and the world teeters on the edge of cultural, political, sexual, and artistic revolution. On the Greek island of Hydra, a proto-commune of poets, painters, and musicians revel in dreams at the feet of their unofficial leaders, the writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston, troubled queen and king of bohemia. At the center of this circle of misfit artists are the captivating and inscrutable Axel Jensen, his magnetic wife Marianne Ihlen, and a young Canadian ingenue poet named Leonard Cohen.
 
When eighteen-year-old Erica stumbles into their world, she’s fresh off the boat from London with nothing but a bundle of blank notebooks and a burning desire to leave home in the wake of her mother’s death. Among these artists, she will find an unraveling utopia where everything is tested—the nature of art, relationships, and her own innocence.
 
Intoxicating and immersive, A Theater for Dreamers is a spellbinding tour-de-force about the beauty between naïveté and cruelty, chaos and utopia, artist and muse—and about the wars waged between men and women on the battlegrounds of genius. Roiling with the heat of a Grecian summer, A Theater for Dreamers is, according to the Guardian, “a blissful piece of escapism” and “a surefire summer hit.”

Read more

Review quotes

THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER 2 BESTSELLER

“Heady armchair escapism . . . An impressionistic, intoxicating rush of sensory experience” The Sunday Times

“Sublime and immersive . . . If you wish you could disappear to a Greek island right now, I highly recommend.”—Jojo Moyes, #1 bestselling author of Me Before You

“A surefire summer hit . . . Feels at once like a gift and an escape route. At once a blissful piece of escapism and a powerful meditation on art and sexuality—just the book to bring light into these dark days.” The Observer (A 2020 Fiction Highlight)
 
“Could hardly have come at a better time . . . Samson recreates one heady summer there (the Greek island of Hydra) with impeccably ripening prose, all thyme-scented hills and cascading bougainvillea” —i Newspaper
 
“Samson is an intensely sensual writer, conjuring up blue skies, the tang of wild herbs, the vivid splash of bougainvillea . . . As good as a Greek holiday, and may be the closest we get this year.” —Financial Times
 
“Spellbinding . . . An immersive read, steeped in nostalgia. Samson's poetic prose is so evocative that, by the end, you find yourself googling those entrancing images of Hydra, 1960, just to wallow further in the poignancy of it all” —Vanity Fair
 
“Intoxicating . . . Highly accomplished . . . A testament to Samson's transportive prose” — Spectator
 
“By the end the reader may be unable to decide whether Hydra enchanted or cursed those attracted by its primitive beauty, cheap rents and easy access to sex, drugs and performance poetry . . . A novel about the treatment of women by artistic men.” —The Times
 
 “This well-crafted novel beautifully captures the texture of a halcyon age in which anything seems possible.” —Daily Mail
 
“Dreamily nostalgic.” —The Observer (Fiction to Look Out for in 2020)
 
“A seductive story, suffused with nostalgia.” —Sunday Mirror

“A thoroughly enjoyable drama of hedonism, enchantment and emotional beastliness.” —Times Literary Supplement

“Samson's beautifully turned sentences and original images are constantly arresting.” —Jewish Renaissance 

“Beautiful . . . Perfect if you want to escape the drudgery of another lentil dinner and dream of 1960s Hydra with Leonard Cohen.” —Dolly Alderton, author of Ghosts
“It is a grand read and the prose falls translucently like the air . . . Superb work and a delightful novel.” —Thomas Keneally, Booker prize–winning author of Schindler’s List
 
“Such a lyrical, elegant and beautifully told story.” —Joanna Cannon, author of Breaking & Mending
 
“So vivid that you can see the sun-washed white houses and blue seas.” —Good Housekeeping (Book of the Month)
 
“I cannot tell you how much I needed this beautiful book to transport me back to 1960s Greece! Lyrical, sexy, tender and sad in places. Highly recommended.” —Erin Kelly, bestselling author of Stone Mothers
 
“This radiant novel will transport you straight to Greece - a blessing at a time when most of us are stuck in our homes” —Cosmopolitan
 
“Delicious.”  —Nigella Lawson, author of Cook, Eat, Repeat

“About real people living in Hydra in 1960. Steeped in nostalgia that's both sad and beautiful. It's fascinating, immersive and so MOVING.” —Marian Keyes, bestselling author of Grown Ups
 
“Hands down the best book I've read all year. Luminous, immersive, gorgeous, profound” —Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat
 
“Her best work yet, so evocative and alive with the scents and colours of a Greek summer . . .  Among the best prose writers of her generation. The writing is just delicious.” –  Cressida Connolly, author of After the Party
 
“I was utterly entranced. It feels entirely true and effortless and compelling— in the way that all great novels do.” —Justine Picardie, author of Coco Chanel
 
“If summer was suddenly like a novel, it would be like this one. Immaculate.” –  Andrew O'Hagan, author of The Secret Life
 
“This is a sheer delight—I've never been to Hydra but this book transports you and miraculously, you are there in 1960.” –  Jenny Eclair, author of Older and Wilder
 
“A glorious novel.” —Kate Mosse, author of the Languedoc Trilogy
“A beautifully written, evocative, inspiring novel. I devoured it.” —Kathy Lette, author of Husband Replacement Therapy
 
“Polly Samson has created such a dazzling evocation of an era and its mindset. Here, the island of Hydra is a geographical place but a psychological one too, populated by beautiful and damaged characters who pull you down into its pages for another café gossip, another moonlit swim, another drink. This book is a bohemian idyll meticulously drawn, and unsparingly exposed. It is like going away to paradise, then coming back rather wiser. You don't read this book—you live it.” —Marina Hyde, Guardian journalist
 
“A luscious seduction of a book.” —Sofka Zinovieff, author of Putney

Read more

Product details

Published By
Algonquin Books
Categories
Number Of Pages
368
Publication Date
May 11, 2021
ISBN
9781643751498

Share with your friends