Blue ruin

Kunzru, Hari


In the latest novel from award-winning author Hari Kunzru, a failed artist who was big in the nineties grapples with his storied, difficult past and uncertain present, all while convalescing secretly in the cottage of his lost love, who just so happens to be married to his former best friend.

In stock

Publish Date: 14/05/2024


From one of the sharpest voices in fiction today, a profound and enthralling novel about beauty, power, and capital’s influence on art and those who devote their lives to creating it.

‘I read everything Hari Kunzru writes, for my highest pleasure and my deepest sustenance.’ Rachel Kushner

Once Jay was tipped for greatness, a rising star of the London art scene. Now, he lives out of his car and earns money delivery groceries to the wealthy of upstate New York, while all around a terrible pandemic rages. 

When Jay arrives at a house set in an enormous acreage of woodland, he is shocked to see somebody he thought forever lost to him. Standing on the porch is Alice, a lover from his art school days. Their relationship was tumultuous and destructive, ultimately ending when she left him for his best friend and fellow artist Rob. Alice and Rob have achieved the riches and success for which Jay once seemed destined. Ashamed and debilitated by the virus that has ravaged his body, Jay hopes she won’t recognise him behind his dirty surgical mask. When she does, however, she invites him to recover on the property, setting in motion a reckoning decades in the making. 

Gripping and brilliantly orchestrated, Blue Ruin moves back and forth through time to deliver an extraordinary portrait of an artist as he reunites with his past and confronts the world he once loved and left behind.

‘Kunzru’s brilliance is his ability to fold vertiginous questions […] into his storytelling. In its unnerving depiction of […] uneasy relationships, Blue Ruin not only keeps pace with White Tears and Red Pill, but also confirms his status as a master choreographer of the present moment’s creeping anxiety.’ Literary Review

“[Blue Ruin] promises to be harrowing and darkly funny. Kunzru has a knack for the nightmarish present, and few things feel more nightmarish than a forced confrontation with the past in the early stages of the pandemic.” Lit Hub, ‘Most Anticipated Books of 2024’

“Kunzru’s [Blue Ruin] is a triumph of beauty and a true ode to the artist.” Oprah Daily, ‘Most Anticipated Books of 2024’

“Kunzru takes on the excessive and rapacious tendencies of the art world in his dazzling latest . . . [Blue Ruin] is immensely satisfying.” Publishers Weekly

“A lively, ever-intensifying story of race, immigration, work, and what it means to earn a living . . . [Blue Ruin is] a darkly ironic tale of two bubbles-an art world divorced from economic reality and a Covid era that segregated us from society . . . A dark, smart, provocative tale of the perils of art making.” Kirkus

“Exquisite writing and keen insights into class tensions and creative dilemmas. Kunzru affirms that it’s always a good time to live an examined life, even during a pandemic.” Booklist

Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 153 × 24 mm










Hardback original


823.92 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K