Lasdun, James Victory

ISBN 13: 9781787331174

Victory

 
9781787331174: Victory
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Love and hate, desire and guilt, friendship and betrayal form the coordinates of these two intensely dramatic stories of men and women caught between their irrational passions and the urge for control.

In Feathered Glory the seemingly happy marriage of a school principal and his artist wife reveals dangerous fault-lines as an old lover reappears in the husband’s life and the wife, fascinated by a charismatic wildlife rehabilitator, brings an injured swan into their home. The poignant denouement leaves every character irreversibly transformed.

The past also haunts the present in Afternoon of a Faun, where an accusation of historic sexual assault plunges Marco Rosedale, an English journalist in New York, into a series of deepening crises. Set during the months leading up to Trump’s election, this is at once a study of our shifting social and sexual mores, and a meditation on what makes us believe or disbelieve the stories of other people.

These gripping, darkly comic novellas reflect and complement each other, offering a sharply observed vision that will resonate with anyone interested in the clash of power and desire in our embattled contemporary lives.

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Review:

"[Victory makes] a convincing case for James Lasdun as one of the most incisive investigators of the human heart writing in English today... an instant masterpiece." (Johanna Thomas-Corr Observer)

"Two superb novellas full of contemporary resonance... extraordinarily taut and compelling." (Leyla Sanai Spectator)

"The novellas [in Victory] are united by Lasdun’s signature virtues: a forensic attention to psychological detail, a mastery of dialogue and an all-round fluency that gives his prose a compelling swiftness. It is these virtues, more than the plots, that make Victory a triumph." (Frank Lawton Literary Review)

"Timely and irresistibly unpleasant... sure to provoke passionate discussion... [Afternoon of a Faun] lingers after you have closed the book with a vividness that testifies to the compact virtues of the novella." (Marcel Theroux Guardian)

"[James Lasdun’s] electric new book... is absorbing... [it] constantly pulls the rug from under your feet." (Anthony Cummins Daily Mail)

"Afternoon of a Faun is a brilliantly imagined, devastatingly insightful and powerfully rendered novel of sexual exploitation and betrayal. Like all of James Lasdun’s work, it is meticulously written and intelligent, both a novel of ideas and a cautionary tale for the #MeToo era. Its ending is bitterly ironic, or perhaps just darkly funny, depending upon one’s perspective – and Afternoon of a Faun is about the very drama of “perspective”." (Joyce Carol Oates)

"In an era of sexual reckonings and “defunct male prerogatives”, any decades-old fling is a ticking time bomb an ambivalent ex can choose to detonate at whim. Yet who’s to say what actually happened? Afternoon of a Faun is an exquisitely rendered tale of moral arithmetic, erotic murkiness, and men’s fascination with other men’s scorecards. It’s also Lasdun at his most pleasurably diabolical." (Laura Kipnis)

"[Victory] comprises two mesmeric... impressive stories, containing beautiful descriptions and subtle twists." (Sunday Times)

"Darkly humorous and compelling portraits of men wrestling with guilt and desire... [Afternoon of a Faun] feels very much a novel for our times." (Alex Preston Guardian)

"Fascinating about the warped thought processes that often underpin male duplicity." (William Skidelsky Financial Times)

About the Author:

James Lasdun’s books include The Fall Guy and Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked. He teaches creative writing at Columbia University and reviews regularly for the Guardian. His work has been filmed by Bernardo Bertolucci (Besieged) and he co-wrote the films Sunday, which won Best Feature and Best Screenplay awards at Sundance, and Signs and Wonders, starring Charlotte Rampling and Stellan Skarsgård.

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