Alan Hollinghurst's Widely Acclaimed THE SPARSHOLT AFFAIR Out In Paperback!
In 1940, David Sparsholt arrives at Oxford to study engineering, though his sights are set on joining the Royal Air Force. Handsome, athletic, charismatic, he is unaware of his powerful effect on others—especially on Evert Dax, the lonely and romantic son of a celebrated novelist who is destined to become a writer himself. With the world at war, and the Blitz raging in London, Oxford exists at a strange remove: a place of fleeting beauty, of secret liaisons under the cover of blackouts. A friendship develops between David and Evert that will influence their lives for decades to come.
Alan Hollinghurst's sweeping new novel evokes across three generations the intimate relationships of a group of friends brought together by art, literature, and love. We witness shifts in taste and morality through a series of vividly rendered episodes: a Sparsholt holiday in Cornwall; eccentric gatherings at the Dax family home; the adventures of David's son Johnny, a painter in 1970s London. Richly observed, emotionally charged, this dazzling novel of fathers and sons, of family and legacy, explores the social and sexual revolutions of the past century, even as it takes us straight to the heart of our current age.
Praise for THE SPARSHOLT AFFAIR
New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, NPR, New York Post, LitHub, Kirkus Reviews, and Slate Best Book of the Year
“Beautiful and complex. . . . Hollinghurst achieves [a] kind of symphonic effect.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Undeniably the work of a master. . . . There’s nothing [Hollinghurst] could write that I wouldn’t read.” —Charles Finch, Chicago Tribune
“[Hollinghurst’s] language has a burnished, witty richness and an exacting clarity of a kind that reinvigorates the act of reading; every page has something worthy of being underlined and revisited.” —The New Yorker
“Gorgeous. . . . To read an Alan Hollinghurst novel is to encounter beauty in its many forms.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“[Hollinghurst’s] sensibilities are so fine you sense he can detect a pea beneath 20 mattresses when it comes to failures of tact, poise and discernment.” —The New York Times
“Utterly captivating and immersive . . . Hollinghurst remains one of our most gifted writers, unspooling sentences as precise and lyrical, deft and ingenious, as any in the English language.” —Priscilla Gilman, The Boston Globe
“A literary master. . . . [Hollinghurst is] simply brilliant at capturing the nuance textures of life.” —“Fresh Air,” NPR
“A work of characteristic subtlety and forthrightness. . . . [Hollinghurst] is a writer for whom sex and fine art, sensual and aesthetic bliss, are not categorically discrete activities but points along a spectrum of delight.” —The New York Times Magazine
“While the novel’s gilded prose calls back to a bygone age, its evocation of that age is strikingly unstable, blurred by conflicting accounts and haunted by gaps and omissions. . . . At its heart are volatile secrets that can never be riddled into the light.” —The Wall Street Journal
“A deeply pleasurable riffing on the repressed English novel.” —Harper’s Magazine
“An amazing amount of the passion and folly of the human comedy is woven into [a] modest life, all of it beautifully observed and memorably articulated.” —The Guardian
“Hollinghurst’s mellifluous prose is as fine and subtly shaded as ever, and his full, persuasive immersion of the reader in the book’s far-flung eras is impeccable.” —The Seattle Times
“As accomplished and pleasurable as anything [Hollinghurst] has written.” —Financial Times
“A long, lusciously observant dive into a certain slice of 20th-century English life. . . . A wonder, full of wit and tenderness, rendered in prose of unostentatious, classic beauty. There is no better English stylist alive.” —Slate
“Rich with the kind of emotional detail that marks [Hollinghurst’s] best work.” —Newsday
“The instants of pure splendor are what make life livable, make it writable. The Sparsholt Affair affirms them, again.” —The New Republic
“A sweeping and intimate masterpiece, full of sensual pleasures and observational wisdom.” —Geoff Dyer
“Call Me By Your Name meets Evelyn Waugh in a gorgeous novel about the generations-long aftershocks of a youthful tryst.” —Esquire
“Hollinghurst’s novels remind you of the deep pleasures of reading novels.” —Evening Standard