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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.
‘A hugely daring, intrigue-packed, decade-jumping doorstopper that teasingly blends fiction and actuality with wit and panache’ DAILY MAIL
‘A triumph … it will conquer your heart’ ELIF SHAFAK
‘Glorious and arresting … A widescreen novel’ OBSERVER
‘A passionate, epic joy’ MADELINE MILLER
‘Powerful, moving, brilliant … An utterly captivating read’ ELIZABETH GILBERT
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
Alison MacLeod has conjured a hugely daring, intrigue-packed, decade-jumping doorstopper that teasingly blends fiction and actuality with wit and panache * DAILY MAIL * It's an ambitious sprawl of a book, splendidly extreme in its magnitude, yet always elegant; a defence of complicated thinking and embodied life * GUARDIAN * 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 A propulsive, addictive, joyous read -- Barney Norris * GUARDIAN * Weaving together fact and fiction with impressive skill ... Tenderness is a significant achievement, as life-affirming as Lawrence's own fiction always aimed to be * SUNDAY TIMES, Historical Fiction Book of the Month * Gripping new novel... shows a mastery of her craft... a thrilling read * HARPER'S BAZAAR * Glorious and arresting ... A widescreen novel * OBSERVER * A work of huge imagination * THE TIMES * A compelling read ... keen and elegant prose * LITERARY REVIEW * With a powerful mixing of the personal and the political, of fact and fiction, Alison MacLeod's latest novel is a sweeping and immersive literary treat * LIVING MAGAZINE * 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 She has produced a meticulously researched account ... This is a vol-au-vent ... and it will change forever the way we read Lady Chatterley -- Francis Wilson * SPECTATOR, Books of the Year * 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 * Fans of Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife will love the epic Tenderness * VOGUE AUSTRALIA * Tenderness is daring and innovative ... MacLeod's Tenderness has many tendrils, but throughout is a constant incantation about the power of fiction. The structure is unexpected and the story is epic and bold, and to quote from the book, it is also big-spirited and alive * ABC NEWS, Best New Books to Read in September * An exploration of society's reaction to the infamous Lady Chatterley's Lover, and the transformative and triumphant power of fiction itself * BETTER READING * A joyous celebration of the artistic life by a writer who takes courageous flight * TABLET *
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