Late Sonata

Winner, 2020 Seizure Viva La Novella Prize
Read a sample here.

Named among “Best Books of 2020” in The Australian

With his wife suffering from Alzheimer’s,
Stephen reluctantly edits her final book, a
study of Beethoven’s sonatas, even as he
still grieves the loss of their son.

Each day he escapes into his own work: a novel about an experimental treatment that reverses ageing. But when he discovers in his wife’s papers a clue to an unwelcome secret, Stephen is forced to confront his past and reconsider the truths about his family.

Bryan Walpert’s novella is an intimate
portrait of marriage, infidelity and the legacies of memory.

Available for purchase in Australia, in New Zealand via Fishpond, in the UK, and in the U.S. either via Amazon or BookShop, which supports local bookstores. 

“We love Bryan’s novella for its seamless melding of the emotional and the intellectual, its brilliant evocations of music and literature and a structure that offers both suspense and humour. Out of more than 120 entries from debut and published authors, Bryan’s novella was remarkable for its polish and sophistication.” — Judges’ comments, 2020 Viva La Novella Prize

“I feel I’m in the hands of a master craftsman; who even writes like this anymore? A wonderful, wonderful book.” — Bram Presser, author of The Book of Dirt.

“…a brilliantly managed slow reveal…technically accomplished and emotionally gripping.” — Kerryn Goldsworthy, The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Late Sonata is a beautiful rendering of two distinct story lines related to ageing…surprising and shocking and yet somehow full-circle serendipitous. With its focus on aging, memory and the power of forgetting, truth and deceit, marriage, infidelity and the legacy of long-term commitment, this slim book is a compelling portrait of the intimate lives of two people.” — Cass Moriarty, author of The Promise Seed

Goodreads reviews:

“A beautifully written book. A beautifully sad and loving story structured by weaving memories in and around each other. It’s one of those books that leaves me with a pit in my stomach and a feeling of loss because it’s over.”

“A poets novel. This mini masterpiece is beautifully structured and crafted. I was moved and impressed in equal measure.”