Books

Sacred Country

Rose Tremain

With an Introduction by Peter Tatchell

We're all something else inside…

1952. Standing in a cold Suffolk field with her family, six-year-old Mary Ward has a revelation: I am not Mary. That is a mistake. I am not a girl. I'm a boy.

So begins Mary’s heroic struggle to change gender. Moving from the claustrophobic rural community of the 1950s to London in the swinging Sixties and beyond to the glitter of America in the Seventies, Sacred Country is the story of a journey to find a place of safety and fulfilment in a savage and confusing world.

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

The Gustav Sonata

Rose Tremain

***Shortlisted for the Costa Book Award***

** The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller **

What is the difference between friendship and love? Or between neutrality and commitment? Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in 'neutral' Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem a distant echo. But Gustav's father has mysteriously died, and his adored mother Emilie is strangely cold and indifferent to him. Gustav's childhood is spent in lonely isolation, his only toy a tin train with painted passengers staring blankly from the carriage windows.

As time goes on, an intense friendship with a boy of his own age, Anton Zwiebel, begins to define Gustav's life. Jewish and mercurial, a talented pianist tortured by nerves when he has to play in public, Anton fails to understand how deeply and irrevocably his life and Gustav's are entwined.

Fierce, astringent, profoundly tender, Rose Tremain’s beautifully orchestrated novel asks the question, what does it do to a person, or to a country, to pursue an eternal quest for neutrality, and self-mastery, while all life's hopes and passions continually press upon the borders and beat upon the gate.

The American Lover

Rose Tremain

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

A seductive new collection of stories from the Orange Prize-winning author of The Road Home and Restoration

Trapped in a London flat, Beth remembers a transgressive love affair in 1960s' Paris. The most famous writer in Russia takes his last breath in a stationmaster’s cottage, miles from Moscow. A father, finally free of his daughter’s demands, embarks on a long swim from his Canadian lakeside retreat. And in the grandest house of all, Danni the Polish housekeeper catches the eye of an enigmatic visitor.

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

Restoration

Rose Tremain (and others)

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

The bestselling and much-loved classic from Orange Prize-winning Rose Tremain, Restoration introduces us to the young Robert Merivel and his rise and fall through glittering seventeenth-century society. Shortlisted for the Booker prize it has been described as 'triumphant' (Sunday Telegraph) and 'dazzling' (New York Review of Books).


When a twist of fate delivers an ambitious young medical student to the court of King Charles II, he is suddenly thrust into a vibrant world of luxury and opulence. Blessed with a quick wit and sparkling charm, Robert Merivel rises quickly, soon finding favour with the King, and privileged with a position as ‘paper groom’ to the youngest of the King’s mistresses. But by falling in love with her, Merivel transgresses the one rule that will cast him out from his new-found paradise…

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

Merivel

Rose Tremain

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

The wonderful new historical novel set in seventeenth-century England from Rose Tremain, author of Restoration (shortlisted for the Booker Prize), The Road Home (winner of the Orange Prize) and Trespass (a Richard & Judy pick). Merivel has been called ‘wonderfully entertaining’ (Guardian Books of the Year) and ‘an unadulterated delight’ (Independent) and has been shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.

The gaudy years of the Restoration are long gone and Robert Merivel, physician and courtier to King Charles II, sets off for the French court in search of a fresh start. But royal life at the Palace of Versailles – all glitter in front and squalor behind – leaves him in despair, until a chance encounter with the seductive Madame de Flamanville, allows him to dream of a different future.

But will that future ever be his? Summoned home urgently to attend to the ailing King, Merivel finds his loyalty and skill tested to their limits.

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

Evangelista's Fan (Storycuts)

Rose Tremain

Salvatore, a young watchmaker from Italy, moves to London when the king of his hometown decrees that a period of twenty-six years is to be erased from history, never to be mentioned in public again. Since this constitutes the whole of period of his life Salvatore feels he has no choice but to flee. But in London, what challenges will this man face, who holds so deeply to the importance of time and identity?

Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection Evangelista's Fan.

The Darkness of Wallis Simpson (Storycuts)

Rose Tremain

Repeatedly exhorted by a strange figure to remember unspecified facts about her life, Wallis struggles with a world of random, snapshot memories. Try as she might to remember her third husband, the dull little man with no name, it is deeper remembrances that engulf her on her death bed, blotting out the inconsequential details of her life.

Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection The Darkness of Wallis Simpson.

How It Stacks Up (Storycuts)

Rose Tremain

McCreedy is forty-six and it's his birthday. His family are there to help him celebrate.

Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection The Darkness of Wallis Simpson.

Peerless (Storycuts)

Rose Tremain

Badger is enduring his dull retirement but a chance letter from a wildlife sanctuary offers him the chance to lay some painful memories to rest.

Part of the Storycuts series, this story was previously published in the collection The Darkness of Wallis Simpson.

Trespass

Rose Tremain

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

In a silent valley in southern France stands an isolated stone farmhouse, the Mas Lunel. Its owner is Aramon Lunel, an alcoholic haunted by his violent past. His sister, Audrun, alone in her bungalow within sight of the Mas Lunel, dreams of exacting retribution for the unspoken betrayals that have blighted her life.

Into this closed world comes Anthony Verey, a wealthy but disillusioned antiques dealer from London seeking to remake his life in France. From the moment he arrives at the Mas Lunel, a frightening and unstoppable series of consequences is set in motion...

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

The Road Home

Rose Tremain

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

Lev is on his way from Eastern Europe to Britain, seeking work. Behind him loom the figures of his dead wife, his beloved young daugher and his outrageous friend Rudi who - dreaming of the wealthy West - lives largely for his battered Chevrolet. Ahead of Lev lies the deep strangeness of the British: their hostile streets, their clannish pubs, their obsession with celebrity. London holds out the alluring possibility of friendship, sex, money and a new career and, if Lev is lucky, a new sense of belonging...

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

The Darkness Of Wallis Simpson

Rose Tremain

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

Wallis Simpson, the twice-divorced American woman for whom Edward Vlll abdicated in 1936, ended her life as the prisoner of her lawyer who would not allow anyone - friend, foe or journalist - to visit her in her Paris flat. Rose Tremain takes this true story and transforms it into an imaginative and ironic fiction. Her thesis is that Wallis, gaga and bed-ridden, has forgotten the king who gave up an empire for love of her.

The other stories in this magnificent collection range over a variety of themes, equally original and unexpected. An East German border guard, redundant after the Berlin Wall comes down in 1989, imagines that he might still have a purpose in life: he tries to reach Russia by bicycling across the hostile wastes of Poland. A jilted man gets his revenge. A baby grows wings. A character in an Impressionist painting escapes from his 'frame' - or does he? And there's a Christmas story set in a seedy hotel...

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

The Colour

Rose Tremain

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

Joseph and Harriet Blackstone emigrate from Norfolk to New Zealand in search of new beginnings and prosperity. But the harsh land near Christchurch threatens to destroy them almost before they begin. When Joseph finds gold in the creek he is seized by a rapturous obsession with the voluptuous riches awaiting him deep in the earth. Abandoning his farm and family, he sets off alone for the new gold-fields over the Southern Alps, a moral wilderness where many others, under the seductive dreams of 'the colour', are violently rushing to their destinies.

By turns both moving and terrifying, The Colour is about a quest for the impossible, an attempt to mine the complexities of love and explore the sacrifices to be made in the pursuit of happiness.

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

The Swimming Pool Season

Rose Tremain

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

After the collapse of 'Aquazure', his swimming pool construction business, Larry and Miriam Kendall have exiled themselves to a sleepy French village. When Miriam is summoned to her mother's deathbed in Oxford, Larry begins to formulate a dazzling new idea: the creation of the most beautiful, the most artistic swimming pool of all.

Around them, Rose Tremain weaves the intricate fabric of the lives of two communities: Miriam's mother, Leni, clever, beautiful and arrogant. Polish Nadia, tortured by the passions of her sad and guilty past. Gervaise the peasant woman - content with her boisterous German lover and confused husband. And the young tearaway Xavier, in love with the virginal Agnes.

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

The Garden Of The Villa Mollini

Rose Tremain

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

A stunning collection of stories: wide-reaching in subject and setting, each beautifully evoked and brilliantly imagined.

Renowned opera singer Antonio Mollini begins construction on what he hopes will be the most beautiful garden in Italy, unaware that its development will have tragic consequence for both him, and his series of lovers. Elsewhere, a farmer's son has high hopes for his inheritance, a young girl dreams of following in the footsteps of a famous arsonist, and the pressure of the annual Gardening Cup exerts a heavy toll on seventeen-year-old Dougie.

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

Music & Silence

Rose Tremain

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

Winner of the Whitbread Novel Award

In the year 1629, a young English lutenist named Peter Claire arrives at the Danish Court to join King Christian IV's Royal Orchestra. From the moment when he realises that the musicians perform in a freezing cellar underneath the royal apartments, Peter Claire understands that he's come to a place where the opposing states of light and dark, good and evil, are waging war to the death.

Designated the King's 'Angel' because of his good looks, he finds himself falling in love with the young woman who is the companion of the King's adulterous and estranged wife, Kirsten. With his loyalties fatally divided between duty and passion, how can Peter Claire find the path that will realise his hopes and save his soul?

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

The Cupboard

Rose Tremain

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

When Erica March composes herself to die in a cupboard, she knows that Ralph Pears will find her. For at the age of 87, she had told the young journalist the richly colourful story of her life as novelist, political activist and, above all, lover, from childhood in Suffolk, Paris between the wars, to oblivion in post-war London. At the end of Ralph's patient probings only one secret remains: the mystery inside one constant object in her life - her cupboard.

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

'Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists' Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

Sadler's Birthday

Rose Tremain

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

Today is Jack Sadler's birthday. Or is it? He's not sure, he doesn't really care. It might be his last day or the beginning of a new chapter in his life. He must find the key to his old room. He knows the truth about his past lies there and somehow he must get in and confront it.

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

'Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists' Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

The Colonel's Daughter

Rose Tremain

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

At the moment that Colonel Browne is standing in the shallow end of the swimming pool of the Hotel Alphenrose, preparing for his late afternoon dip, his daughter Charlotte, carrying a suitcase, is getting out of her car back in England, preparing to rob the ancestral home. It is not just another day: it is the culmination of hundreds of days, hundreds of disappointments and misunderstandings, and thousands of very small lies...

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

‘Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists’ Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

Letter To Sister Benedicta

Rose Tremain

From the author of The Gustav Sonata

Fat and fifty, educated only to be a wife and mother, Ruby Constad has reached a point of crisis. Her husband, Leon, lies in a nursing home after a stroke that has left him paralysed; her grown-up children are gone. In her anguish Ruby appeals for help to a half-remembered figure from her colonial Indian girlhood - Sister Benedicta. Gradually the events leading up to Leon's stroke are revealed and a woman emerges whose capacity to love, hope and understand are far greater than she realises.

Over a million Rose Tremain books sold

‘A writer of exceptional talent ... Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion’ Independent I

‘There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain’ Irish Times

‘Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect’ The Times

'Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists' Salman Rushdie

‘Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness’ Marcel Theroux, Guardian

Rose Tremain

Biography

Rose Tremain’s novels and short stories have been published in thirty countries and have won many awards, including the Orange Prize (The Road Home), the Dylan Thomas Award (The Colonel's Daughter and Other Stories), the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music & Silence) and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Sacred Country). Her most recent novel, The Gustav Sonata, was a Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller. It won the National Jewish Book Award in the US, the South Bank Sky Arts Award in the UK and was shortlisted for three other prizes, including the Costa Novel Award. Rose Tremain was made a CBE in 2007. She lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer, Richard Holmes.

www.rosetremain.co.uk