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Tenderness

Alison MacLeod

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Bloomsbury
14 September 2021
The spellbinding story of Lady Chatterley's Lover, and the society that put it on trial; the story of a novel and its ripple effects across half a century, and about the transformative and triumphant power of fiction itself.

'Tenderness is a triumph and it will conquer your heart. Stunning, illuminating, but also, profoundly moving' ELIF SHAFAK
'A passionate, epic joy' MADELINE MILLER
'Powerful, moving, brilliant ... An utterly captivating read' ELIZABETH GILBERT
'As sublimely crafted as a novel could ever be. I'm in awe of Alison MacLeod's powers' ISABELLA TREE

D. H. Lawrence is dying. Exiled in the Mediterranean, he dreams of the past. There are the years early in his marriage during the war, where his desperation drives him to commit a terrible betrayal. And there is a woman in an Italian courtyard, her chestnut hair red with summer.

Jacqueline and her husband have already been marked out for greatness. Passing through New York, she slips into a hearing where a book, not a man, is brought to trial.

A young woman and a young man meet amid the restricted section of a famous library, and make love.

Scattered and blown by the winds of history, their stories are bound together, and brought before the jury. On both sides of the Atlantic, society is asking, and continues to ask: is it obscenity - or is it tenderness?

'Gorgeously written and meticulously conceived' DAVID LEAVITT
By:   Alison MacLeod
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   956g
ISBN:   9781408884676
ISBN 10:   1408884674
Pages:   640
Publication Date:   14 September 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Alison MacLeod is the author of three novels, The Changeling, The Wave Theory of Angels and Unexploded, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013, and two story collections. She is the joint winner of the Eccles British Library Writer's Award 2016. She is Professor of Contemporary Fiction at the University of Chichester and lives in Brighton. alison-macleod.com

Reviews for Tenderness

What a triumph of skill and imagination is this powerful, moving, brilliant novel! I've never read anything quite like Tenderness, and I doubt I ever will again. This is more than a book about a book; this is a book about living - about really living, at the most dangerous and beautiful edges of the human experience. I stand in awe of Alison MacLeod. She is a novelist operating at the peak of her powers ... Tenderness is an utterly captivating read, and I came away from it with this astonished thought: There's nothing this writer can't do -- ELIZABETH GILBERT Tenderness is a triumph and it will conquer your heart. Stunning, illuminating, but also, profoundly moving -- ELIF SHAFAK As sublimely crafted as a novel could ever be. I'm in awe of Alison MacLeod's powers. Tenderness is an intricate, mesmerising tapestry of love and regret, prudery and desire, loneliness and togetherness, loyalty and betrayal, and the enigmas and conundrums involved in the art of committing these experiences to the page -- ISABELLA TREE Gorgeously written and meticulously conceived, Alison MacLeod's Tenderness presents history as it didn't happen, and in so doing casts a new light on history as it did happen -- DAVID LEAVITT Tenderness is a passionate, epic joy. It's a paean to artistic imagination and freedom, and also to the messy complexity of humanity. The characters leap from the page with astonishing life that is all the more impressive given their historical fame. MacLeod's prose is a masterclass - gripping, lyrical, witty, razor-sharp and filled with, yes, tenderness. I will never forget it -- MADELINE MILLER Alison MacLeod has bored deep into significant cultural fault-lines of the twentieth century: D. H. Lawrence's grappling with Edwardian England's psychological timidity; America's moment of political optimism with the Kennedys; the trial of Lady Chatterley's Lover. She has disentangled connections - roots - between them and their participants, and emerged with a great sweeping symphony of a novel -- TIM PEARS Magnificent ... MacLeod covers an astonishingly broad range of incidents, eras, and themes in vivid prose, and depicts Lawrence's supporters and opponents with equal insight and empathy ... Triumphant ... This places MacLeod among the best of contemporary novelists * Publishers Weekly * Sprawling and ambitious ... Completely engrossing * Good Reading Magazine * It's an ambitious sprawl of a book, splendidly extreme in its magnitude, yet always elegant; a defence of complicated thinking and embodied life -- Lara Feigel * Guardian * Praise for Alison MacLeod: 'Full of simmering tension, resentment and unexpressed passion... A bold, cleverly told story from a writer who knows exactly what she's doing -- Viv Groskop * Observer * Fans of Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife will love the epic Tenderness * Vogue Australia * MacLeod is dazzlingly good at evoking a whole life through a single snapshot and at bending and stretching her prose as she moves between an impressive range of narrative personae -- Lara Feigel * Guardian * MacLeod has an engaged delight in the stuff of life * Times Literary Supplement * Like a piece of finely wrought ironwork, uncommonly delicate but at the same time astonishingly strong and tensile; it's a novel of staggering elegance and beauty * Independent * A writer of great descriptive power... Like her modernist forebears, Macleod knows that life and death, the terrible and the mundane always co-exist - her genius lies in illustrating these truths while simultaneously spinning a bona fide pageturner * Daily Mail * The author's grasp of emotions, and history of art as well as politics, lend depth and charge... [There is also] the sensuality of MacLeod's prose, whether dealing with art, desire or love; and her uncanny way of allowing us to experience the thought processes of her characters as if they are traversing our own brain synapses * Independent on Sunday * MacLeod's fictions are modern indeed. They are fragmentary evocations of desire and its mysteries, passing glimpses into minds and hearts * Guardian * Alison MacLeod is a strikingly original voice. Her stories create intimate worlds ... and make the reader live in them with an intensity which is haunting, disturbing and above all beguiling -- Helen Dunmore


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