In Heartbreak, Craig Raine's startlingly moving, intellectually nimble, sexually candid, wickedly funny first novel, the central character is not a person, but an invisible metaphor: heartbreak. Through the stories of a virtuoso cast of characters - among them a physically scarred academic, a strangely beautiful young girl with Down's syndrome, a world-renowned actress, and a brilliant Czech poet - Heartbreak investigates one of the most elusive yet deeply felt of human conditions. It is a compassionate and textured novel about what happens to us when love and loss collide.

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