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A circadian novel is one which fits all of its action into the course of a single day, allowing the minutiae of everyday life to take centre stage.
· A single dull day of domesticity identical to every other frames Rachel Cusk’s novel Arlington Park, just as the mothers of her suburban satire are frustrated and trapped by those same daily routines.
· The infamously unreadable novel by James Joyce, Ulysses, takes place in Dublin on June 16, 1904, in which the epic episodes from Homer’s Odyssey are set alongside the prosaically domestic.
· A man undertakes the ordinary rituals of family life, all the while planning to leave his wife and children on the morrow, in Intimacy by Hanif Kureishi.
· A day in the life of Mrs Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf, sees her moving around London preparing for a party, with the chimes of Big Ben inexorably marking the hours.
· A neurosurgeon’s day off one Saturday in February 2003, with its anticipations of various chores and pleasures, is also the day of the massive protest in London against the U.S. invasion of Iraq, in the novel by Ian McEwan.
· One Fine Day in the English summer of 1946, Laura contemplates her life now that the war is over, in the novel by Mollie Panter-Downes.
· The order of a timetabled working day is sharply contrasted with the disorder of one young woman’s thoughts and feelings in Little Scratch by Rebecca Watson, a depiction of power, trauma and contemporary alienation.
· Though taking place over a 24-hour period, the semi-autobiographical novel by James Baldwin Go Tell it on the Mountain spans decades to tell the story of John Grimes and his relationships with his family and church.
· A detective marks the second anniversary of a murder in The Light of Day, by Graham Swift, by visiting the murderer, with whom he has fallen in love.
· One evening, amidst a chorus of clamorous voices stuck in a purgatory between worlds, Abraham Lincoln mourns the death of his son in Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders.