The Mistressclass

The Mistressclass

Michèle Roberts

Michèle Roberts

A painter's death sets into motion a story of desire-past and present-and its enduring repercussionsCatherine and Vinny are sisters and writers living in contemporary London. Catherine, a professor, publishes erotic novels under an assumed name, keeping her acclaimed novelist husband, Adam, in the dark. When not writing her poetry, Vinny wanders the streets of the city marking the houses of female authors with chalk quotations from their work.When Adam's father dies, both women are forced to reconsider the event that shaped their lives, the betrayal at the heart of their relationships. Haunted by their individual and common pasts, they must come to terms with each other, and with their present-day lives. Acclaimed author Michèle Roberts not only brings history to life-interwoven into this contemporary narrative is the story of another set of sisters, the Brontës-but illuminates the way it informs, or shadows, the present. Evocative, emotional,...
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The Looking Glass

The Looking Glass

Michèle Roberts

Michèle Roberts

A lushly imagined, sensual novel about memory, desire, and the power of storytelling, from a Booker Prize nominee.Geneviève is an outsider, raised in an orphanage, now living an isolated existence as a maid to the widowed Madame Patin in a small French village. A teller and collector of stories, she is entranced by Madame Patin's oft-told folktales, which mask cunning and doom beneath beauty. As Geneviève grows into a woman, her life becomes both more sensual and more dangerous. She flees her village home, escaping to another word-spinner, a poet who captivates women — his mother, his mistress, his niece's governess, and, soon, Geneviève. The poet is kind, but he too is a collector of stories — and sometimes of secrets beyond words.An exquisite, knowing, and irresistible novel, The Looking Glass introduces to an American audience "one of Britian's best novelists" (The Independent on Sunday).
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The Walworth Beauty

The Walworth Beauty

Michèle Roberts

Michèle Roberts

From the Booker-shortlisted author comes a sensuous, evocative novel exploring the lives of women in Victorian London, for fans of Sarah Waters, Emma Donoghue and Kate Atkinson2011: When Madeleine loses her job as a lecturer, she decides to leave her riverside flat in cobbled Stew Lane, where history never feels far away, and move to Apricot Place. Yet here too, in this quiet Walworth cul-de-sac, she senses the past encroaching: a shifting in the atmosphere, a current of unseen life. 1851: and Joseph Benson has been employed by Henry Mayhew to help research his articles on the working classes. A family man with mouths to feed, Joseph is tasked with coaxing testimony from prostitutes. Roaming the Southwark streets, he is tempted by brothels' promises of pleasure – and as he struggles with his assignment, he seeks answers in Apricot Place, where the enigmatic Mrs Dulcimer runs a boarding house.As these entwined stories unfold, alive with the...
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Ignorance: A Novel

Ignorance: A Novel

Michèle Roberts

Michèle Roberts

In every war there are stories that do not surface. You can try to forget, but sometimes the past can return: in the scent of a bar of soap, in whispers darting through a village after mass, in the color of an undelivered letter.Jeanne Nerin and Marie-Angèle Baudry grow up side by side in the Catholic village of Ste. Madeleine, but their worlds could not be more different. Marie-Angèle is the grocer's daughter, inflated with ideas of her own piety and rightful place in society. Jeanne's mother washes clothes for a living. She used to be a Jew until this became too dangerous. Jeanne does not think twice about stealing food when she is hungry, nor about grasping the slender chances life throws at her. Marie-Angèle does not grasp; she aspires to a life of comfort and influence. When war falls out of the sky, the forces that divide the two girls threaten to overwhelm those that bind them together. In this dizzying new order, the truth can be buried under a pyramid of recriminations.Michèle Roberts's new novel is a mesmerizing exploration of guilt, faith, desire, and judgment, bringing to life a people at war in a way that is at once lyrical and shocking.Review“Roberts’s polished, ornately wrought prose adds depth and a sense of acute realism to her captivating story—which flows seamlessly between the protagonists as they take turns narrating this accomplished and inspired novel of wartime France.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)About the AuthorMichèle Roberts is the author of twelve highly acclaimed novels, including The Looking Glass and Daughters of the House, which won the WH Smith Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Half English and half French, Roberts lives in London and in the Mayenne, France. She is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and was recently made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government.
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