No man has ever loved a woman and not imagined her in the arms of someone else.
Felix Quinn calls himself a happy man. He owns one of London's oldest antiquarian bookshops. He is married to and adores the beautiful Marisa. But a childhood experience has taught him that loss is intrinsic to love, and Felix realises that he can only be truly happy if his wife is sleeping with another man. Enter Marius into Marisa's affections. And now Felix must ask himself, is he really happy?
By the winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize.
It's Jacobson's genius that he uses Felix's perversion as a torture garden in which a hundred interlinked images, theories, arguments, stories and literary allusions flourish and blossom... A startling achievement: shocking, argumentative, funny, rude, querulous, intellectually bracing
A gloriously literary, highly wrought narrative as darkly transgressive, as savage in its brilliance, as anything Jacobson has written... Jacobson is a connoisseur of the harm lovers inflict on each other: he rolls their recriminations on his tongue, savours the bile, relishes the sticky sweetness of passion, and tastes the salty tears that can never quench the perpetual thirst for love
The narrative is masterly. Entertaining as well as erudite, it prompts reflections upon art, obsession, masculinity, betrayal and the nature of the erotic... serves above all to confirm his creator's mighty individual talent. There surely cannot be a more vigorously intelligent novelist than Howard Jacobson writing in this country today
Howard Jacobson injects a kind of molten energy into English that makes it move like another language altogether... Obsession, hidden desires and the salacious thrill of voyeurism all play their part in this brawny tale of love's flagellant
Intense, powerful, surprisingly funny, totally affecting and deeply touching
Trying to crack that opening line? Got a first novel lingering in a drawer? This year, on penguin.co.uk and the Penguin Podcast, we've chatted to lots of authors about their craft. Here's some highlights to give you a helping hand.
'I wrote Pussy thinking only of how vexed I would be if I didn't write it'. Man Booker prize winner Howard Jacobson on the 'rush of passion' that drove him to pen his Trump-inspired novella.