At the age of twenty, the novelist Denton Welch suffered a cycling accident that left him partially paralyzed; the injuries that he sustained were to leave him in almost constant pain for the rest of his life, as well as bestowing upon him the spinal tuberculosis that would kill him at the age of 33. A Voice Trough a Cloud – increasingly regarded as Welch’s masterpiece – is his account of this accident and the period of convalescence soon after. The unsparing chronicle of the world of a hospital patient – riddled with anger, boredom, almost unbearable stabs of pain and sharp flashes of humour – A Voice Trough a Cloud is, as John Updike wrote in The New Yorker, “An incomparable account of shattered flash and refracted spirit.” His third and final novel, and written at a point when Welch could write for no more than a few minutes a day, A Voice Trough a Cloud is nonetheless possibly one of the most complete accounts of health and mortality; as Edmund White says, it is a book of “long slow dying”, “through which all the world’s strangeness can be perceived.”
Denton Welch's three novels - Maiden Voyage, In Youth is Pleasure, and A Voice Through A Cloud - are the launch titles in Galley Beggar Press's Digital Classics range. Through Galley Beggar Digital Classics we aim to offer a vibrant and eclectic collection of twentieth and twenty-first voices, ranging from the traditional to the experimental, all united by two things - their current unavailability in digital form, and (above all else) their extraordinary quality.
This brand new, first-ever digital edition of A Voice Through a Cloud is accompanied by an introduction by the acclaimed novelist and thinker Lars Iyer.