Hugo Hamilton’s new novel, Every Single Minute, is based on a visit he made to Berlin in 2008 with his friend Nuala O'Faolain just ten days before she passed away.
Dublin-born Hamilton, author of the memoir The Speckled People, visited the German capital with O'Faolain, who was suffering with cancer and only had days to live.
Every Single Minute, which is published by 4th Estate on February 27, recreates the two, event-filled days the pair spent before Nuala's return to Ireland.
In the novel, the narrator Liam travels to Berlin with ?na, who is twenty years older. She has a list of places that she wants to see in that feverish, yet strangely tranquil time before her inevitable passing. Most importantly, she asks him to book tickets to see Don Carlo at the Berlin Staatsoper (opera house).
Liam and Úna tell each other candid details about themselves, she talks of her lovers, and recalls her father and her alcoholic mother. She is still shaken by the death of her younger brother.
They are driven around the city by Manfred, a tour that ultimately leads to an intriguing revelation about Úna’s brother at the Staatsoper.