We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Portraits at the Palace of Creativity and Wrecking

On sale

20th June 2024

Price: £14.99

Select a format

Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781399814256

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

‘Kaleidoscopic and beguiling . . . A singular and thrilling debut that shows what happens when objective truth and meaning are drowned in the shifting river of history and politics’ ANDREW McMILLAN

‘Insightful, affecting and assured . . . Written with a poetry as defamiliarising as it is rich’ OISÍN FAGAN

‘Strange, intriguing, exhilarating’ CAMILLA GRUDOVA

‘Extraordinary’ ADAM ZMITH

The almost daughter is almost normal, because she knows how to know and also not know.

She knows and does not know, for instance, about the barracks by the athletics field, and about the lonely woman she visits each week. She knows – almost – about ghosts, and their ghosts, and she knows not to have questions about them. She knows to focus on being a woman: on training her body and dreaming only of escape.

Then, the almost daughter meets Oksana. Oksana is not even almost normal, and the questions she has are not normal at all.

Portraits at the Palace of Creativity and Wrecking is the story of a young woman coming of age in a town reckoning with its brutal past, for readers of Milkman and A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing.


Intimate, intricate, and ultimately irresistible. Smith's unforgettable style builds a political-personal narrative that resounds to the drumbeat of resistance and rebellion
Like being in a hall of mirrors where you think you've caught Smith's eye but it's just a reflection. When something slips into view between the glass, you get that uncanny feeling you're staring back at yourself. A mysterious quest of excavation
Arrests and intrigues . . . an extraordinary achievement