The Party

The Party


An irresistible novella about two sisters and a night that changes everything, from the master chronicler of our heart’s hidden desires

Evelyn had the surprising thought that bodies were sometimes wiser than the people inside them. She’d have liked to impress somebody with this idea, but couldn’t explain it.

On a winter Saturday night in post-war Bristol, sisters Moira and Evelyn, on the cusp of adulthood, go to an art students’ party in a dockside pub; there they meet two men, Paul and Sinden, whose air of worldliness and sophistication both intrigues and repels them. Sinden calls a few days later to invite them over to the grand suburban mansion Paul shares with his brother and sister, and Moira accepts despite Evelyn’s misgivings. As the night unfolds in this unfamiliar, glamorous new setting, the sisters learn things about themselves and each other that shock them, and release them into a new phase of their lives.

In this irresistible novella of two young women coming of age, Tessa Hadley explores the ever-changing desires, the sudden revelations and the lasting mysteries that are bound up with who we are, and who we might become.


  • Few writers give me such consistent pleasure
    Zadie Smith, author White Teeth

About the author

Tessa Hadley

Tessa Hadley is the author of eight highly praised novels, Accidents in the Home, which was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Everything Will Be All Right, The Master Bedroom, The London Train, Clever Girl, The Past, Late in the Day, Free Love and four collections of stories, Sunstroke, Married Love, Bad Dreams and After the Funeral. She won the Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction in 2016, The Past won the Hawthornden Prize for 2016, and Bad Dreams won the 2018 Edge Hill Short Story Prize. Her stories appear regularly in the New Yorker.
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