The Swimming Pool Library
Young, gay, William Beckwith spends his time, and his trust fund, idly cruising London for erotic encounters. When he saves the life of an elderly man in a public convenience an unlikely job opportunity presents itself. The man is Lord Nantwich, a gay peer of the realm and in the market for a biographer. Reluctantly accepting the commission, Will receives the first of Nantwich's diaries. But in the story he unravels, a tragedy of early twentieth century gay repression, lurk bitter truths about Will's own privileged existence.
'Deserves first prize in every category... superbly written, wildly funny' Daily Telegraph
"The first major novel in Britain to put gay life in its modern place and context... A historic novel and historic debut" Guardian "Deserves first prize in every category... superbly written, wildly funny" Daily Telegraph "The tautness and energy of Alan Hollinghurst's novel derive from its ambiguous status a it shimmers somewhere between pastoral romance and sulphurous confession, between an affectionate and credible rendering of contemporary mores and lurid melodrama...classic English prose...surely the best book about gay life yet written by an English author" Sunday Times "Beautifully welds the standard conventions of fiction to a tale of modern transgressions.It tells of impurities with shimmering elegance, of complexities with a camp-fired wit and of truths with a fiction's solid grace" New York Times Book Review
Alan Hollinghurst was born in 1954. He is the author of one of the most highly praised first novels to appear in the 1980s, The Swimming-Pool Library, and was selected as one of the Best of Young British Novelists 1993. His second novel, The Folding Star, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize. His novel The Line of Beauty won the Booker Prize in 2004.