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The Sparsholt Affair

The Sparsholt Affair (Hardback)

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Foyles Notes

The English novel is in good hands with Alan Hollinghurst. His latest recalls the cultural satire and masterful prose of The Line of Beauty and The Stranger's Child but charts our recent history through the lives of a group of friends who are as well drawn and compellingly complicated as you would expect from Hollinghurst.

Dan, Waterloo

Synopsis

In October 1940 the handsome young David Sparsholt arrives in Oxford. A keen athlete and oarsman, he seems at first unaware of the effect he has on others - particularly on the lonely and romantic Evert Dax, son of a celebrated novelist, and himself destined to become a writer. While the Blitz rages in London, Oxford exists at a strange remove from the action: a place of transience, uncertainty, the rigours of the blackout encouraging and concealing unexpected liaisons. Between these two young men of very different backgrounds an unusual friendship develops - one whose consequences will unfold over the following seventy years. Alan Hollinghurst's masterly new novel evokes the intimate lives of three generations of Sparsholts in a sequence of vivid episodes - a childhood holiday in Cornwall, eccentric social gatherings at the Dax family's Chelsea home, the adventures of David's son Johnny in pursuit of love and a career as a painter in 1970s London. Changes in taste, morality and private life are explored in a group portrait of friends brought together by art, literature and love. Novels, buildings and paintings find favour and fall into obscurity with the whims of fashion; while life-changing crises and scandals recede into the past, leaving ambiguous traces. Gay men and women live in increasing freedom and openness, the gay scene itself mutating in time into new forms and possibilities. The Sparsholt Affair emerges as a study in human transience and the countervailing longing for permanence and continuity. As in The Stranger's Child, Hollinghurst's exploration of shifting taste, class and human interaction is wonderfully witty, tender and rich in observation. This is an unmissable achievement that will be cherished by lifelong fans and new readers alike.



Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945Fiction & PoetryRomanceRomanceAdult & contemporary romance Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publication Date: 05/10/2017 ISBN-13: 9781447208211  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Alan Hollinghurst is the author of five highly acclaimed novels, including The Swimming-Pool Library, The Folding Star, The Spell, The Line of Beauty and The Stranger's Child. He has received the Somerset Maugham Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction and the 2004 Man Booker Prize. He lives in London.

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