This brilliant, compelling and unusual novel - part mystery, part philosophy and part social history - is set in the early years of the 19th century. The narrator is an inmate in Bedlam, the London mental asylum, where he is chained to a wall in unspeakably disgusting conditions. Yet he is witty, urbane and seemingly sane - he philosophises on freedom, on love and love lost, and on the fleeting nature of happiness. As this beautifully constructed story unfolds we learn about his everyday life in the asylum, about his life before Bedlam and the answers to the critical questions: Why is this man here? What exactly has he done? The Curativehas been wowing readers with its unique exploration of the devious in human affairs. The novel was runner-up for the Deutz Medal for fiction in the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. It has been published by Penguin in Britain and Australia.