**SHORTLISTED FOR THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE 2020**
Two timely novellas exploring male sexual violence, power and corruption
‘Victory makes a convincing case for James Lasdun as one of the most incisive investigators of the human heart writing in English today… An instant masterpiece’ Johanna Thomas-Corr, Observer
Love and hate, desire and guilt, friendship and betrayal – these are the coordinates that drive James Lasdun’s two intensely gripping, darkly comic novellas of men and women caught between their irrational passions and the urge for control.
In Feathered Glory the seemingly happy marriage of a school principal and his artist wife reveals dangerous fault-lines as an old lover reappears in the husband’s life. The past also haunts the present in Afternoon of a Faun, where an accusation of historic sexual assault plunges Marco Rosedale, an English journalist in New York, into a series of deepening crises. Together these stories offer a sharply observed vision that will resonate with anyone interested in the clash of power and desire in our embattled contemporary lives.
The word “masterpiece” is not one to throw around lightly but I was enthralled by James Lasdun’s novella Afternoon of a Faun, from his collection Victory… it has the psychological precision of a Chekhov story.
Two superb novellas full of contemporary resonance… extraordinarily taut and compelling.
[Victory makes] a convincing case for James Lasdun as one of the most incisive investigators of the human heart writing in English today… an instant masterpiece.
The novellas [in Victory] are united by Lasdun’s signature virtues: a forensic attention to psychological detail, a mastery of dialogue and an all-round fluency that gives his prose a compelling swiftness. It is these virtues, more than the plots, that make Victory a triumph.
Timely and irresistibly unpleasant… sure to provoke passionate discussion… [Afternoon of a Faun] lingers after you have closed the book with a vividness that testifies to the compact virtues of the novella.