In self-imposed exile in an ancient Flemish city, an embittered 33-year-old language tutor, Edward Manners, falls in love with his alluring 17-year-old pupil, Luc Altidore. As Edward pursues the elusive object of his infatuation--and plunges into affairs with two other men--this book interweaves past and present, history and memory, into a ...
In self-imposed exile in an ancient Flemish city, an embittered 33-year-old language tutor, Edward Manners, falls in love with his alluring 17-year-old pupil, Luc Altidore. As Edward pursues the elusive object of his infatuation--and plunges into affairs with two other men--this book interweaves past and present, history and memory, into a tapestry of unfulfillable desire.
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Publishers Weekly, 1994-07-25 As in his first novel, The Swimming Pool Library, British author Hollinghurst skillfully combines lush details, a reflective voice and erotic depictions of gay life and relationships. Edward Manners, a 33-year-old aspiring British writer, arrives in a Flemish town to work as a private tutor in English, only to find himself obsessively smitten with one of his pupils, Luc Altidore, a 17-year-old expelled from school. Through a second pupil, Manners is also drawn into the world of (fictional) painter Edgard Orst, who died during the Nazi occupation of Belgium and whose paintings depict an infatutation with a red-haired actress. At first, events are presented as clues, and Manners pursues his preoccupation with Luc as if unraveling a mystery. Triptych patterns abound: the reassembling of three panels of an Orst painting, trios of friends and lovers and the three-part structure of this complex, mature and richly textured novel. Meanwhile, AIDS adds shadow to the depths of the contemporary gay relationships portrayed here. The title, taken from Milton, refers to the first evening star; like that bright herald of night, this extraordinary, often darkly funny novel captures our attention. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1995-09-11 Hollinghurst's (The Swimming Pool Library) erotic novel of a language tutor's obsession with his teenage pupil was a Booker Prize finalist. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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