Book Author Bryan Walpert
Rights Available World excl. NZ

A memory-impaired time traveller attempts to correct a tragic mistake he made in 1976 when, panicked, he abandoned his brother on a frozen lake in Baltimore to a beating that disabled him. Decades later, in 2011, a novelist researching at the Centre for Time in Sydney becomes romantically involved with a philosopher from New Zealand. A writer at a lake retreat in New Zealand in 2019 obsesses over the disintegration of his marriage following another tragedy. Are they separate stories, or are they one? Is the time traveller actually travelling? Can the past be changed? As the answers to these questions slowly emerge, the lives become entangled in a tale of love, desperation and physics.

The three stories travel side-by-side through the novel, not apparently linked but riffing off each other. The love story in Sydney plays out backwards via journal entries that includes a writer’s research into time travel; the time traveller story is a frantic against-the-clock tale in a Baltimore winter; and the writer’s story is told through a series of responses to writing prompts that dig into a failing marriage, the loss of a child, and living with a disabled brother.

An erudite and literary novel written with a poet’s eye and using fragmented stories that sprawl across time and countries, Entanglement feels like the work of Canadian author Anne Michaels. It nods to speculative fiction but asks the reader to decide if the time travel is real or imagined. The ending is hopeful and potentially redemptive.

Shortlisted for the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction 2022

About the Author
Bryan Walpert
is the author of Late Sonata, winner of the 2020 Seizure Viva La Novella Prize, as well as a short story collection, four books of poetry and two of literary criticism. Originally from Baltimore in the US, he is a professor in creative writing at Massey University, Auckland.


Mākaro Press


B format



Contemporary Fiction

Age range

Publication Date
October 2021

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ

Rights Agents:


Nadine Rubin Nathan of High Spot Literary

Contact Mākaro Press about this book

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This is a book that makes you slow down your reading because you don’t want the experience to end. That calls to you when you’re going about your day. That makes you nudge your partner to say, Listen to this. Entanglement is erudite, romantic, deeply moving. I reached the end and turned straight back to page one, entangled.

Gigi Fenster, author of A Good Winter (Text)

A novel full of two things I can’t stand in fiction—audaciously long sentences and a protagonist who’s a writer —and yet I freaking love this book! Walpert has not only the ear of a poet, but also the ruthlessness of a novelist skilled at unpicking human relationships. Trust me, this story will unfold like a set of dominoes arranged in the shape of your heart.

Madison Hamill, author of Specimen, winner of MitoQ Best First Book of Non-fiction 2021

The most striking thing about Entanglement is its cleverness. Not only does the title encompass everything from the superposition of subatomic
particles to the connection between the narrator and his twin to the triplicated storylines, the fact that it is possible to construct a linear narrative from its many parts is testament to Walpert’s skill as a writer.

Cushla McKinney, Otago Daily Times