Alan Hollinghurst profiled by The New York Times Magazine
The New York Times Magazine profiled Alan Hollinghurst whose latest novel, THE SPARSHOLT AFFAIR, was published on March 13th from Knopf.
In his article, Giles Harvey covers the span of Hollinghurst's evolution as an important voice of the LGBTQ writing community. Harvey touches on Hollinghurst's early life as the child of "Churchill-worshiping Conservatives" in the 1950s where he found his role as "epochal silence breaker" through his discovery of the "gay cannon" at Oxford in the 1970s, and explores Hollinghurst's thoughts on writing in a vastly different cultural context for his most recent work, THE SPARSHOLT AFFAIR.
"'There was a need to do something defiant,' Hollinghurst said of the reactionary political climate in which his first novel was written and published. ‘The Sparsholt Affair’ has come out into a world that’s so different.' This new world—in which gay rights are increasingly recognized and sexual truth-telling is ubiquitous—is one that Hollinghurst played his part in creating. What kind of literature it might demand is a question that 'The Sparsholt Affair' tries to answer."
"For Hollinghurst, writing about gay life has always also been a way of writing about the society that constrains and proscribes it. Magnetized by the establishment, he brings an outsider’s clinical perspective to its manners and customs and the psychological toll they can inflict. “The Sparsholt Affair” may be his most harrowing damage report yet." -NYTimes Magazine
Other Praise for THE SPARSHOLT AFFAIR:
"Hollinghurst is a cerebral sensualist. His characters work themselves into each other’s hearts and minds as devotedly as they work themselves into each other’s underpants." -NYTimes Book Review
“Hollinghurst, who has tread the line between satire and sentiment in all his novels, understands that the truth lies somewhere in between, and knows how tricky it can be to find the right balance. In 'The Sparsholt Affair,' he has tilted toward the heartfelt, to moving effect.” -NPR