Early one morning Arvid finds himself standing outside the bookshop where he used to work, drunk, dirty, with two fractured ribs, and no idea how he came to be there. He does not even recognise his face in the mirror. It is as if he has dropped out of the flow of life.
Slowly, uncontrollably, the memories return to him, and Arvid struggles under the weight of the tragedy which has blighted his life - the death of his parents and younger siblings in an accident six years previously.
At times almost unbearably moving, In the Wake is nonetheless suffused with unexpected blessings: humour, wisdom, human compassion, and a sense of the perpetual beauty of the natural world.
By the winner of both the IMPAC Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.