April 7th 2011


  • Paul Wilson won the Portico Prize for Literature for Do White Whales Sing at the End of the World

The Visiting Angel by Paul Wilson

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A deeply impressive novel . . . at once surprising, thematically rich and often very moving


The scenes among those written off by the world have a devastating accuracy, with a tender depiction of love among the disregarded and abused . . . The plot moves to a terrific climax


A humane and affecting tale of atonement in a troubled society


Angels are where it’s now at. Wilson’s stunning, shattering and ultimately moving tale is not for the faint-hearted


A fascinating and compassionate novel


A joy to read . . . Wonderful writing by a very talented author

New Books

Wilson is that golden-egg of publishing at the moment; a potential literary-bestseller; who deserves his place on the top table with McEwan, Barnes, and the like


Care worker Patrick Shepherd has been struggling for as long as he can remember: orphaned, mourning a brother, and battling each day to rebuild the lives of the broken residents of his halfway house. But when he’s called to talk a man named Saul down from a ledge, Patrick’s world is suddenly shocked back into life. Saul looks exactly like Liam, Patrick’s brother, whom he thought was dead.

Dissolute, charming and uncannily perceptive, Saul says that he’s an angel on a mission to heal the fragile souls of a very particular list of people: Sarah, a GUM clinic nurse trapped by her own grief; Tusa, an HIV positive asylum seeker afraid to lose her last vestige of hope; and Edward, accused of murdering a lost child. Saul must help them weave the frayed edges of their lives back together again.

But for Patrick to understand the meaning of this visitation, he first must face his traumatic childhood in the council orphanage, Providence House, and the terrifying betrayal that tore the brothers apart.

Praise for Paul Wilson:

The equal of Graham Swift at his best


It is a rare thing: a novel that is both convincing and surprising

Sunday Telegraph

Wilson tells a strangely compelling, charmingly eccentric story with flair and good humour. Could this be a Lancashire Garcia Marquez with a warm, sing-song accent?

Literary Review

This is a quietly magnificent novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit through stories of the socially disenfranchised


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