Man with a Seagull on His Head
Man with a Seagull on His Head tells the story of Ray Eccles, a man “now past the age when anything interesting was likely to happen to him,” whose life is nevertheless changed when a dying seagull strikes him on the head. Waking up from the trauma, he finds himself obsessed by the last thing he saw before his injury—an anonymous woman on the beach—and is compelled to depict her both compulsively and repeatedly: initially on any paper he can find in his house, and thereafter on the walls, using any materials that come to hand, including food and his own bodily fluids. Eventually discovered by a couple of collectors of Outsider Art, he becomes one of the most celebrated artists of the last half of the twentieth century. From here the story explodes into four disparate but interrelated narratives.
Seagull is a novel about the impossibility of ever really knowing anyone and the electric charge that comes from real connection. Beautiful, lyrical, and profoundly moving, it heralds a wonderfully original new voice.