In the small African republic of Kinjanja, British diplomat Morgan Leafy bumbles heavily through his job. His love of women, his fondness for drink, and his loathing for the country prove formidable obstacles on his road to any kind of success. But when he becomes an operative in Operation Kingpin and is charged with monitoring the front runner in Kinjanjayes'>#8217;s national elections, Morgan senses an opportunity to achieve real professional recognition and, more importantly, reassignment.After he finds himself being blackmailed, diagnosed with a venereal disease, attempting bribery, and confounded with a dead body, Morgan realizes that very little is going according to plan.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Sharply observed and brilliantly plotted, Stars and Bars is an uproarious portrait of culture clash deep in the heart of the American South, by one of contemporary literature's most imaginative novelists.A recent transfer to Manhattan has inspired art assessor Henderson Dores to shed his British reserve and aspire to the impulsive and breezy nature of Americans. But when Loomis Gage, an eccentric millionaire, invites him to appraise his small collection of Impressionist paintings, Dores's plans quite literally go south. Stranded at a remote mansion in the Georgia countryside, Dores is received by the bizarre Gage family with Anglophobic slurs, nausea-inducing food, ludicrous death threats, and a menacing face off with competing art dealers. By the time he manages to sneak back to New York City-sporting only a cardboard box-Henderson Dores realizes he is fast on the way to becoming a naturalized citizen.From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Rich in character and incident, An Ice-Cream War fulfills the ambition of the historical novel at its best." --The New York Times Book Review Booker Prize Finalist "Boyd has more than fulfilled the bright promise of [his] first novel. . . . He is capable not only of some very funny satire but also of seriousness and compassion." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times 1914. In a hotel room in German East Africa, American farmer Walter Smith dreams of Theodore Roosevelt. As he sleeps, a railway passenger swats at flies, regretting her decision to return to the Dark Continent--and to her husband. On a faraway English riverbank, a jealous Felix Cobb watches his brother swim, and curses his sister-in-law-to-be. And in the background of the world's daily chatter: rumors of an Anglo-German conflict, the likes of which no one has ever seen.
In An Ice-Cream War, William Boyd brilliantly evokes the private dramas of a generation upswept by the winds of war. After his German neighbor burns his crops--with an apology and a smile--Walter Smith takes up arms on behalf of Great Britain. And when Felix's brother marches off to defend British East Africa, he pursues, against his better judgment, a forbidden love affair. As the sons of the world match wits and weapons on a continent thousands of miles from home, desperation makes bedfellows of enemies and traitors of friends and family. By turns comic and quietly wise, An Ie-Cream War deftly renders lives capsized by violence, chance, and the irrepressible human capacity for love.
"Funny, assured, and cleanly, expansively told, a seriocomic romp. Boyd gives us studies of people caught in the side pockets of calamity and dramatizes their plights with humor, detail and grit." --Harper's "Boyd has crafted a quiet, seamless prose in which story and characters flow effortlessly out of a fertile imagination. . . . The reader emerges deeply moved." --Newsday From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this extraordinary novel, William Boyd presents the autobiography of John James Todd, whose uncanny and exhilarating life as one of the most unappreciated geniuses of the twentieth century is equal parts Laurence Stern, Charles Dickens, Robertson Davies, and Saul Bellow, and a hundred percent William Boyd.yes'>#160;yes'>#160;From his birth in 1899, Todd was doomed. Emerging from his angstfilled childhood, he rushes into the throes of the twentieth century on the Western Front during the Great War, and quickly changes his role on the battlefield from cannon fodder to cameraman. When he becomes a prisoner of war, he discovers Rousseau's Confessions, and dedicates his life to bringing the memoir to the silver screen. Plagued by bad luck and blind ambition, Todd becomes a celebrated London upstart, a Weimar luminary, and finally a disgruntled director of cowboy movies and the eleventh member of the Hollywood Ten. Ambitious and entertaining, Boyd has invented a most irresistible hero.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Un don juan patenté s'impose la chasteté mais compense en collectionnant les baisers volés ; un kleptomane retrace son parcours de vie à travers les objets qu'il a dérobés ; un couple séparé se retrouve par hasard et remonte les cinq ans de sa relation, en partant de la rupture banale pour revenir au coup de foudre initial ; une jeune femme qui accumule les échecs professionnels et amoureux réussit à toujours avancer en faisant du surplace ; un acteur naïf voit sa vraie vie se transformer en un cauchemardesque thriller de série B.
Tous ces chemins que nous n'avons pas pris nous donne à voir ces rencontres fortuites qui font affleurer le passé à la surface de nos émotions, ces décisions impulsives qui changent irrévocablement le cours d'une vie, ces hésitations et renoncements qui compliquent tout.
Des nouvelles pleines d'humour, de sensibilité et de surprises qui mettent en valeur une fois de plus le regard pénétrant, malicieux et bienveillant de William Boyd et son talent unique de conteur.
William Boyd est né à Accra (Ghana) en 1952 et a étudié à Glasgow, Nice et Oxford, où il a également enseigné la littérature. Auteur réputé de fiction, d'essais et de théâtre, il est aussi scénariste et réalisateur. Il a repris en 2013 le flambeau de la saga " James Bond " créée par Ian Fleming.
Traduit de l'anglais (Grande-Bretagne) par Isabelle Perrin
Isabelle Perrin, que tout destinait à une sage carrière universitaire, contracte le virus de la traduction littéraire auprès de sa mère Mimi. Les incurables duettistes cosigneront plus de trente traductions, dont tous les romans de John le Carré depuis La Maison Russie.
Au lendemain de la Première Guerre mondiale, la très jeune Amory Clay se voit offrir par son oncle Greville un appareil photo et quelques conseils rudimentaires pour s'en servir. Elle ignore alors que c'est le déclencheur d'une passion qui façonnera irrévocablement sa vie future. Un bref apprentissage dans un studio et des portraits de la bonne société laissent Amory sur sa faim. Sa quête de vie, d'amour et d'expression artistique l'emporte bientôt dans un parcours audacieux et trépidant, du Berlin interlope des années vingt au New York des années trente, de Londres secoué par les émeutes des Chemises noires à la France occupée et au théâtre des opérations militaires, où elle devient l'une des premières femmes photoreporters de guerre. Sa soif d'expériences entraîne Amory vers d'autres conflits, des amants, un mari, des enfants, tandis qu'elle continue à poursuivre ses rêves, à combattre ses démons.À travers le destin singulier et l'objectif téméraire d'une femme indépendante et généreuse, William Boyd nous promène au gré des événements les plus marquants de l'histoire contemporaine.Une ode magnifique à la liberté des femmes !William Boyd, né à Accra (Ghana) en 1952, a étudié à Glasgow, Nice et Oxford, où il a également enseigné la littérature. Auteur réputé de fiction, d'essais et de théâtre, il est également scénariste et réalisateur. Avec Susan, sa femme, il partage son temps entre Londres et la Dordogne.Isabelle Perrin, que tout destinait à une sage carrière universitaire, contracte le virus de la traduction littéraire auprès de sa mère Mimi. Les incurables duettistes cosigneront plus de trente traductions, dont tous les romans de John le Carré depuis La Maison Russie.
Dans la station balnéaire de Brighton, indifférents au tumulte du monde en cet été 1968, trois personnages sont réunis pour les besoins d'un film dans l'esprit des « Swingin' Sixties ». Tous ont une double vie. Talbot Kydd, producteur chevronné, affronte les embûches du tournage (réécritures du scénario, erreurs de casting, défection de l'actrice principale) et se demande comment faire son coming out. Anny Viklund, jeune beauté américaine à la vie amoureuse chaotique voit réapparaître son ex-mari, terroriste en cavale, et suscite l'intérêt de la CIA. Quant à l'épouse délaissée du metteur en scène, Elfrida Wing, autrefois saluée comme « la nouvelle Virginia Woolf » avec son premier roman, elle combat sa panne d'écrivain à grand renfort de gin tonic.
À travers ces trois êtres désemparés et attachants, Boyd nous entraîne dans les coulisses de la duplicité et de la simulation, là où se trame le scénario de nos vies secrètes au détriment des apparences. Il nous livre un récit tendre et jubilatoire, qui restitue avec brio l'esprit d'une époque.
Traduit de l'anglais par Isabelle Perrin
En cette fin d'été 1913, le jeune comédien anglais Lysander Rief est à Vienne pour tenter de résoudre, grâce à cette nouvelle science des âmes qu'est la psychanalyse, un problème d'ordre intime. Dans le cabinet de son médecin, il croise une jeune femme hystérique d'une étrange beauté qui lui prouvera très vite qu'il est guéri, avant de l'entraîner dans une histoire invraisemblable dont il ne sortira qu'en fuyant le pays grâce à deux diplomates britanniques, et ce au prix d'un marché peu banal. Dès lors, Lysander, espion malgré lui, sera contraint de jouer sur le théâtre des opérations d'une Europe en guerre les grands rôles d'une série de tragi-comédies. Sa mission : découvrir un code secret, dont dépend la sécurité des Alliés, et le traître qui en est l'auteur. Sexe, scandale, mensonges ou vérités multiples aux frontières élastiques, chaque jour et chaque nuit apportent leur tombereau d'énigmes et de soupçons. L'aube finira-t-elle par se lever sur ce monde de l'ombre, et par dissiper enfin les doutes que sème avec une délectation sournoise chez le lecteur fasciné l'auteur de cet étonnant roman du clair-obscur ?
1894. Accordeur surdoué à l'oreille absolue, le jeune Brodie Moncur, employé d'un vénérable fabricant de pianos à Édimbourg, accepte avec joie un poste important dans la filiale parisienne, fuyant ainsi l'ennui de la province et la hargne de son pasteur de père. Mais sa rencontre avec John Kilbarron, le " Liszt irlandais ", et la maîtresse de ce dernier, la soprano russe Lika Blum, dont il tombe fou amoureux, va changer inéluctablement le cours de son existence. Devenu indispensable au pianiste, il le suit de Paris à Saint-Pétersbourg, où sa liaison clandestine avec Lika est éventée par Malachi, le frère maléfique de Kilbarron.
Dès lors convaincu d'être traqué, Brodie ne cessera d'errer et de courir d'un bout à l'autre de l'Europe – Nice, Genève, Trieste ou encore Vienne – avant de s'exiler dans les îles Andaman, au large des côtes indiennes, où se scellera son destin.
Dans ce livre foisonnant et romantique en diable, le maestro William Boyd mêle la passion, la musique, l'Histoire à l'aube des bouleversements du XXe siècle, et entraîne le lecteur dans les coulisses fascinantes des acteurs méconnus et géniaux du monde de la musique.
William Boyd, né à Accra, au Ghana, en 1952, est l'auteur de quinze romans abondamment primés, de plusieurs recueils de nouvelles, essais et pièces de théâtre. Il est également scénariste et réalisateur de cinéma. Il partage son temps avec sa femme Susan, entre Londres et la Dordogne.
Traduit de l'anglais (Grande-Bretagne) par Isabelle Perrin
1969. Espion chevronné, membre surdoué des services secrets de Sa Majesté, James Bond célèbre ses quarante-cinq ans avec une mission peu ordinaire : mettre un terme à la guerre civile qui déchire le Zanzarim, petit pays d'Afrique occidentale. Aidé par la
Any Human Heart is William's Boyd's classic, bestselling novel - now a major Channel 4 drama Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, but Logan Mountstuart's - lived from the beginning to the end of the twentieth century - contains more than its fair share of both. As a writer who finds inspiration with Hemingway in Paris and Virginia Woolf in London, as a spy recruited by Ian Fleming and betrayed in the war and as an art-dealer in '60s New York, Logan mixes with the movers and shakers of his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness. Here, then, is the story of a life lived to the full - and a journey deep into a very human heart.
Any Human Heart will be enjoyed by readers of Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel, as well as lovers of the finest British and historical fiction around the world. It was recently adapted for a major Channel 4 four-part drama series scripted by William Boyd and starring Kim Cattrall, Gillian Anderson, Jim Broadbent and Tom Hollander.
'Astonishing, touching, extremely funny. A brilliant evocation of a past era and an immensely readable story' Sunday Telegraph 'Superb, wonderful, enjoyable' Guardian 'A terrific journey through the twentieth century. Thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable' Jeremy Paxman William Boyd was born in Ghana, where his father was a doctor, and was educated there and in Scotland. His first novel A Good Man in Africa won both the Whitbread First Novel and Somerset Maugham Prizes, and his subsequent novels have gone onto win many awards. His books include: On the Yankee Station and Other Stories, An Ice-Cream War, Stars and Bars, School Ties, The New Confessions, Brazzaville Beach, The Blue Afternoon, The Destiny of Natalie 'X' and Other Stories, Armadillo, Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928-1960, Any Human Heart, Restless, The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth, Ordinary Thunderstorms, Fascination, Bamboo and Waiting for Sunrise. He divides his time between London and south-west France.
Vienna. 1913. It is a fine day in August when Lysander Rief, a young English actor, walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist, Dr. Bensimon. Sitting in the waiting room he is anxiously pondering the nature of his problem when an extraordinary woman enters. She is clearly in distress, but Lysander is immediately drawn to her strange, hazel eyes and her unusual, intense beauty.
Later the same day they meet again, and a more composed Hettie Bull introduces herself as an artist and sculptor, and invites Lysander to a party hosted by her lover, the famous painter Udo Hoff. Compelled to attend and unable to resist her electric charm, they begin a passionate love affair. Life in Vienna becomes tinged with the frisson of excitement for Lysander. He meets Sigmund Freud in a café, begins to write a journal, enjoys secret trysts with Hettie and appears to have been cured.
London, 1914. War is stirring, and events in Vienna have caught up with Lysander. Unable to live an ordinary life, he is plunged into the dangerous theatre of wartime intelligence - a world of sex, scandal and spies, where lines of truth and deception blur with every waking day. Lysander must now discover the key to a secret code which is threatening Britain's safety, and use all his skills to keep the murky world of suspicion and betrayal from invading every corner of his life.
Moving from Vienna to London's west end, the battlefields of France and hotel rooms in Geneva, Waiting for Sunrise is a feverish and mesmerising journey into the human psyche, a beautifully observed portrait of wartime Europe, a plot-twisting thriller and a literary tour de force from the bestselling author of Any Human Heart, Restless and Ordinary Thunderstorms.
The infamous literary prank that fooled a legion of art critics in the 1990s Artist Nathwell Tate was born in 1928 in Union Beach, New Jersey. On January 8 1960 he contrived to round up and burn almost his entire output of Abstract Expressionism. Four days later he killed himself. This book offers an account of Tate's life and work.
--- When William Boyd published his biography of New York modern artist Nat Tate, a huge reception of critics and artists arrived for the launch party, hosted by David Bowie, to toast the late artist's life. Little did they know that the painter Nat Tate, a depressive genius who burned almost all his output before his suicide, never existed. The book was a hoax, and the art world had fallen for it.
Nat Tate is a work of art unto itself - an investigation of the blurry line between the invented and the authentic, and a thoughtful tour through the spirited and occasionally ludicrous American art scene of the 1950s.
Fascination is master storyteller William Boyd's third volume of short stories Described as "the finest storyteller of his generation", and following his acclaimed collections On the Yankee Station (1981) and The Destiny of Nathalie X (1995), in Fascination Boyd shows his brilliance of the form as these stories range widely through time and space. In a dazzling array of styles and narratives we move from 1930s Germany to Los Angeles in the Second World War, from contemporary Oxford to 19th century Russia. Whether in London or Amsterdam. Eastbourne or a Normandy village these stories explore and expose the fraught, funny, absurd, poignant and lovelorn lives of their many and varied characters.
Fascination will be loved by fans of Any Human Heart, as well as readers of William Trevor, Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel.
'The stories here are perfect ... suffused with an understanding of love, desire andemotional incompetence' Guardian 'Perfectly formed snapshots of life at its most mystifying' Daily Mail 'Consistently entertaining' Literary Review 'Boyd achieves his best writing, observing tiny moments of love, lust and epiphanywith extraordinary sensitivity' Spectator William Boyd was born in Ghana, where his father was a doctor, and was educated there and in Scotland. His first novel A Good Man in Africa won both the Whitbread First Novel and Somerset Maugham Prizes, and his subsequent novelshave gone onto win many awards. His books include: On the Yankee Station and Other Stories, An Ice-Cream War, Stars and Bars, School Ties, The New Confessions, BrazzavilleBeach, The Blue Afternoon, The Destiny of Natalie 'X' and Other Stories, Armadillo, Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928-1960, Any Human Heart, Restless,The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth, Ordinary Thunderstorms, Bamboo and Waiting for Sunrise. He divides his time between London and south-west France.
Funny, moving and sharply observed, these stories are confirmation of Boyd's status as one of English fiction's finest writers. Here are twenty-four gripping tales told in bold, distinct voices from Brazil to Africa and from Nice to Hollywood. This eclectic collection by the acclaimed author of Restless and Brazzaville Beach is a must-read for any lover of the short story.
This new collection of stories is William Boyd's second, appearing some fourteen years after his first, On the Yankee Station. Once again the stories range widely across the time and space of the twentieth century. 'The Destiny of Nathalie "X" 'is a modern fable about Hollywood; 'Cork' tells of a bizarre love affair between an Englishwoman and a Portuguese poet in 19305 Lisbon; Transfigured Night' is set in Vienna during the First World War and is concerned with the problematic relationship between a wealthy patron (who bears a curious resemblance to Ludwig Wittgenstein) and his indifferent benefactor. Fantasy and farce, rueful longing and the bitter acknowledgement of life's relentless ironies all feature in these nine stories by one of our most celebrated and imaginative writers.
Wiliam Boyd, winner of the Whitbread and Somerset Maugham Awards, introduces unlikely heroes desperate to redeem their unsatisfying lives.
From California poolsides to the battlegrounds of Vietnam, here is a world populated by weary souls who turn to fantasy as their sole escape from life's inequities. Stranded in an African hotel during a coup, an oafish Englishman impresses a young stewardess with stories of an enchanted life completely at odds with his sordid existence in "The Coup." In the title story, an arrogant, sadistic American pilot in Vietnam underestimaets the power of revenge when he relentlessly persecutes a member of his maintenance crew. With droll humor and rare compassion, Boyd's enthralling stories remind us of his stature as one of contemporary fiction's finest storytellers.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
*The Sunday Times Bestseller* It is 1969 and James Bond is about to go solo, recklessly motivated by revenge.
A seasoned veteran of the service, 007 is sent to single-handedly stop a civil war in the small West African nation of Zanzarim. Aided by a beautiful accomplice and hindered by the local militia, he undergoes a scarring experience which compels him to ignore M's orders in pursuit of his own brand of justice. Bond's renegade action leads him to Washington, D.C., where he discovers a web of intrigue and witnesses fresh horrors.
Even if Bond succeeds in exacting his revenge, a man with two faces will come to stalk his every waking moment.
Brazzaville Beach is a classic award-winning novel by William Boyd Winner of the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize 'I live on Brazzaville Beach ... I am here because two sets of strange and extraordinary events happened to me ... One in England, first, and then one in Africa.' On Brazzaville Beach, on the edge of Africa, Hope Clearwater examines the complex circumstances that brought her there. Sifting the details for evidence of her own innocence or guilt, she tells her engrossing story with a blunt and beguiling honesty that not only intrigues and disturbs but is also completely enthralling.
Brazzaville Beach will be loved by fans of Any Human Heart, as well as readers of Ben Macintyre, Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel.
'Brazzaville Beach exudes confidence; Boyd has grown in authority from book to book. Things are by turn hilarious and edgy but always under control' Sunday Times 'A brilliant storyteller... a book which stretches, tantalizes and delights' Financial Times 'As intelligent as anything you're likely to read... slips by like a thriller' Time Out 'A most extraordinary parable about mankind... quite unlike anything else I have ever read' Sunday Express William Boyd was born in Ghana, where his father was a doctor, and was educated there and in Scotland. His first novel A Good Man in Africa won both the Whitbread First Novel and Somerset Maugham Prizes, and his subsequent novels have gone onto win many awards. His books include: On the Yankee Station and Other Stories, An Ice-Cream War, Stars and Bars, School Ties, The New Confessions, The Blue Afternoon, The Destiny of Natalie 'X' and Other Stories, Armadillo, Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928-1960, Any Human Heart, Restless, The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth, Ordinary Thunderstorms, Fascination, Bamboo and Waiting for Sunrise. He divides his time between London and south-west France.
The New Confessions is a wickedly funny novel by bestselling author William Boyd 'Brilliant ... a Citizen Kane of a novel' Daily Telegraph The New Confessions is the outrageous, extraordinary, hilarious and heartbreaking autobiography of John James Todd, a Scotsman born in 1899 and one of the great self-appointed (and failed) geniuses of the twentieth century.
'An often magnificent feat of story-telling and panoramic reconstruction ... John James Todd's reminiscences carry us through the ups and downs of a long and lively career that begins in genteel Edinburgh, devastatingly detours out to the Western Front, forks off, after a period of cosy family life in London, to the electric excitements of the Berlin film-world of the Twenties, then moves on to Hollywood ... to ordeal by McCarthyism and eventual escape to Europe' Peter Kemp, Observer.
The New Confessions will be loved by fans of An Ice-cream War and Any Human Heart, as well as readers of Ben Macintyre, Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel.
A Good Man in Africa is William Boyd's classic, prize-winning debut novelWinner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham PrizeEscapee from suburbia, overweight, oversexed ... Morgan Leafy isn't overburdened with worldly success. Actually, he is refreshingly free from it. But then, as a representative of Her Britannic Majesty in tropical Kinjanja, it was not very constructive of him to get involved in wholesale bribery. Nor was it exactly oiling his way up the ladder to hunt down the improbably pointed breasts of his boss's daughter when officially banned from horizontal delights by a nasty dose ... Falling back on his deep-laid reserves of misanthropy and guile, Morgan has to fight off the sea of humiliation, betrayal and ju-ju that threatens to wash over him. A Good Man in Africa is one of the greatest comic novels of recent times and will be loved by fansof Any Human Heart, as well as readers of Ben Macintyre, SebastianFaulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel'Wickedly funny' The Times 'If a widening grim is the test of a novel's entertainment value in retospect, A Good Man in Africa romps home' Guardian
Stars and Bars by novelist William Boyd is one of the comic masterpiecesAll Henderson Dores dreams of is fitting in. But America, land of the loony millionaire and the subway poet, down-home Bible-basher and sharp-suited hood, of paralysing personal frankness and surreally fantasized facilities, is hard enough for an Englishman to fit in to. Henderson could never shed enough inhibitions to become just another weirdo. Or could he? This hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy, which Boyd also adapted for screen for the 1980s film starring Daniel Day Lewis, was described in the Guardian as, 'Splittingly shrewd and engaging ... with an extra and uneasy little something fretting away at the ribald content'.Stars and Bars will be loved by fans of Any Human Heart and A Good Man in Africa, as well as readers of David Nicholls, Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel.'The wry laughter never stops ... the shrewdest pages yet from a master of wittymanipulation' Observer