The Sparsholt Affair
'Call Me By Your Name meets Evelyn Waugh in a gorgeous novel about the generations-long aftershocks of a youthful tryst' — Esquire
From the winner of the Man Booker Prize, a masterly novel that spans seven transformative decades as it plumbs the complex relationships of a remarkable family.
In October 1940, the handsome young David Sparsholt arrives in Oxford. A keen athlete and oarsman, he at first seems unaware of the effect he has on others – particularly on the lonely and romantic Evert Dax, son of a celebrated novelist and destined to become a writer himself. While the Blitz rages in London, Oxford exists at a strange remove: an ephemeral, uncertain place, in which nightly blackouts conceal secret liaisons. Over the course of one momentous term, David and Evert forge an unlikely friendship that will colour their lives for decades to come . . .
Alan Hollinghurst’s sweeping novel evokes the intimate relationships of a group of friends bound together by art, literature and love across three generations. It explores the social and sexual revolutions of the most pivotal years of the past century, whose life-changing consequences are still being played out to this day. Richly observed, disarmingly witty and emotionally charged, The Sparsholt Affair is an unmissable achievement from one of our finest writers.
'Startling, radical, embedded in tradition but entirely new' - Guardian
'A master storyteller' - John Banville
Hollinghurst is a master storyteller ... thrilling in the rather awful way that the best Victorian novels are, so that one finds oneself galloping somewhat shamefacedly through the pages in order to discover what happens next.
Hollinghurst can make language do what he wants . . . It makes a lot of contemporary fiction seem thin and underachieving.
Dazzlingly good: the best new novel I’ve read this year. Once again, Hollinghurst is both utterly sumptuous and utterly precise