The Stranger's Child

The Stranger's Child

Paperback

By (author) Alan Hollinghurst

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Paperback $11.25
  • Publisher: PICADOR
  • Format: Paperback | 340 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 200mm x 35mm | 458g
  • Publication date: 1 July 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0330513966
  • ISBN 13: 9780330513968
  • Edition statement: Open market ed
  • Sales rank: 9,866

Product description

This is Alan Hollinghurst's first novel since "The Line of Beauty", winner of the 2004 Man Booker Prize. In the late summer of 1913 the aristocratic young poet Cecil Valance comes to stay at 'Two Acres', the home of his close Cambridge friend George Sawle. The weekend will be one of excitements and confusions for all the Sawles, but it is on George's sixteen-year-old sister Daphne that it will have the most lasting impact, when Cecil writes her a poem which will become a touchstone for a generation, an evocation of an England about to change for ever. Linking the Sawle and Valance families irrevocably, the shared intimacies of this weekend become legendary events in a larger story, told and interpreted in different ways over the coming century, and subjected to the scrutiny of critics and biographers with their own agendas and anxieties. In a sequence of widely separated episodes we follow the two families through startling changes in fortune and circumstance. At the centre of this often richly comic history of sexual mores and literary reputation runs the story of Daphne, from innocent girlhood to wary old age. Around her Hollinghurst draws an absorbing picture of an England constantly in flux. As in "The Line of Beauty", his impeccably nuanced exploration of changing taste, class and social etiquette is conveyed in deliciously witty and observant prose. Exposing our secret longings to the shocks and surprises of time, "The Stranger's Child" is an enthralling novel from one of the finest writers in the English language.

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Author information

Alan Hollinghurst is the author of four previous novels, The Swimming-Pool Library, The Folding Star, The Spell and The Line of Beauty. 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.

Review quote

From the UK: ""The Stranger's Child "is something of a dichotomy: epic in scope, but minute in its details. . . . To say it is eagerly awaited is like saying JK Rowling is a tad popular. . . . "The Stranger's Child "does not disappoint. A study on fame and the passing of time, it is as compulsive as anything [Hollinghurst has] written. It begins with a weekend at the Sawles' family home in 1913, and the arrival of a poet named Cecil Valance who writes a poem that becomes lauded after Winston Churchill quotes from it. Over the following decades, a variety of journalists and biographers try to piece together what happened that weekend to inspire such a book. . . . Buy it, then relish and bathe in every word. [This] novel warrant[s] obsessive appreciation of every line"--James Mullinger, "GQ" (UK)