Those who work closely with Mr. Faber say that his decision to stop writing novels may be a manifestation of grief for Eva Youren, his companion of 26 years and his wife since 2004.
“Eva was the one he wrote for, and he was blessed in having someone of her intelligence and judgment be his constant sounding board,” said Jamie Byng, the publisher of Canongate, which has published Mr. Faber’s books in Britain for 16 years. “In terms of his creative process, she was the absolute center of it.”
Mr. Byng said that Mr. Faber’s decision to end with a novel that eulogizes his wife was fitting.
“It’s such an extraordinary novel about grief and loss and people being forced apart, and the emotional integrity and power comes from the very heartbreaking things that he was going through when he was writing it,” he said. “If it’s the last novel that he ever writes, so be it.”
Mr. Faber, who lives in the highlands of Scotland, said that lately he’s been writing poetry about Eva and may eventually seek to publish some of it. He also hopes to find an outlet for the creative work that she left behind, he added, which included writing and photography.