Beth is funny, vivacious and seductive - and currently seeking peace in a meditation retreat to avoid dealing with the guilt and secrets of her past. A gripping and perceptive novel by one of our most highly acclaimed writers.
'' Somehow it seemed to him the only thing that would really solve the problem would be to return to the sea and find the old ring with their names and the wedding date engraved inside, in 22-carat gold, and put it on again and then the world would magically return to what it had been before. Many years before. This did not happen. '' Thomas and Mary have been married for thirty years. They have two children, a dog, a house in the suburbs. But after years of drifting apart, things - finally - come to a head. In this love story in reverse, Tim Parks recounts what happens when youthful devotion has long given way to dog walking, separate bed times, and tensions over who left the fridge door open. Lurching from comedy to tragedy, via dependence, cold re-examination, tenderness and betrayal, Thomas and Mary is a fiercely intimate chronicle of a marriage - capturing the offshoots of pain sent through an entire family, when the couple at its heart decide it''s all over.
Through memorable encounters with ordinary Italians - conductors and ticket collectors, priests and prostitutes, scholars and lovers, gypsies and immigrants, this title captures what makes Italian life distinctive.
Modern fictionNew paperback from the author of Italian Neighbours and An Italian Education. Europa follows one man on a coach journey across Europe with a group of people he despises and the woman who broke his heart. A dark and comic tale of passion, jealousy and revenge.
Overweight and overwrought, Howard Cleaver, London's most successful journalist, abruptly abandons home, partner, mistresses and above all television, the instrument that brought him identity and power. It is the autumn of 2004 and Cleaver has recently enjoyed the celebrity attending his memorable interview with the President of the United States and suffered uncomfortable scrutiny following the publication of his elder son's novelised autobiography. He flies to Milan and heads deep into the South Tyrol, fetching up in the village of Luttach. His quest: to find a remote mountain hut, to get beyond the reach of email, and the mobile phone, and the interminable clamour of the public voice.
Weeks later, snowed in at five thousand feet, harangued by voices from the past and humiliated by his inability to understand the Tyrolese peasants he relies on for food and whisky, Cleaver discovers that there is nowhere so noisy and so dangerous as the solitary mind.
Collected here for the first time, the best from Tim Parks' short fiction spanning across his entire literary career and enriched by new stories written specifically for this publication. Whether describing the simmering warfare in an Italian condominium, the problems and pleasures of adultery, or the trappings of the generation game, these stories reveal Tim Parks' deeply-felt preoccupations with the inner workings of the human psyche and the dynamics of human relations. Reviewed in the National Press.
In the dramatic landscape of the Italian Alps a group of English canoeists arrive for an 'introduction to white water.' Camping, eating and paddling together, six adults and nine adolescents seem set to enjoy what their leader insists on calling a 'community experience.' Their hosts are Clive, a taciturn figure, and Michela, his fragile girlfriend. Joining the group late are Vince, a banker trying to make sense of the flotsam of his existence, and his teenage daughter whom he feels moving inexorably away from him.
The dangerous river manages to bring out the group's qualities and failings in the most urgent fashion, provoking sudden conflicts and unexpected shifts of alliance. An ideal love affair breaks down and an apparently impossible one timidly buds. A banal disagreement turns violent. Meanwhile, the hottest summer on record is filling the glacier-fed rivers with a melt water so wild that it is surely unwise of the distracted instructors to launch their party into the last day's descent of the upper Aurina...
'For some time now, I have been plagued, perhaps blessed, by dreams of rivers and seas, dreams of water.' Just days after Albert James writes these lines to his son John, in London, he is dead. Abandoning a pretty girlfriend and the lab where he is completing his PhD, John flies to Delhi to join his mother in mourning.
A brilliant and controversial anthropologist, the nature of Albert James's research, and the circumstances of his death, are far from clear. On top of this, John must confront his mother's coolness, and the strangeness of the cremation ceremony that she has organised for his father. No sooner is the body consigned to the flames than a journalist arrives, determined to write a biography of the dead man. The widow will have nothing to do with the project, yet seems incapable of keeping away from the journalist.
In Tim Parks's masterly new novel, India, with its vast strangeness, the density and intensity of its street life, its indifference to all distinctions between the religious and the secular, is a constant source of distraction to these westerners in search of clarity and identity. To John, the enigma of his father's dreams of rivers and seas appears to be one with the greater mystery of the country.
The Medici are famous as the rulers of Florence at the high point of the Renaissance. Their power is derived from the family bank. This book tells the fascinating, frequently bloody story of the family and the dramatic development and collapse of their bank.
The passage from complexity to simplicity eludes Judge Savage. Why does his daughter refuse to move to the spacious new house he and his wife have bought? Why does a young Korean woman keep phoning him to beg for help? As the most tangled lives are ironed out in court, Savage's own existence descends into a mess of violence and confusion.
A story of the author's quest to overcome ill health. It confronts hard truths about the relationship between the mind and the body, the hectic modern world and his life as a writer.
Beth Marriot is fighting demons: a catastrophic series of events has undermined all prospect of happiness. Trauma leaves her no alternative but to bury herself in the austere asceticism of a community that wakes at 4am, doesn't permit eye contact, let alone speech, and keeps men and women strictly segregated.
An acclaimed author of novels and short stories, Tim Parks - who was described in a recent review as "one of the best living writers of English" - has delighted audiences around the world with his finely observed writings on all aspects of Italian life and customs. This volume contains a selection of his best essays on the literature of his adopted country.
From Boccaccio and Machiavelli through to Moravia and Tabucchi, from the Stil Novo to Divisionism, across centuries of history and intellectual movements, these essays will give English readers, and lovers of the Bel Paese and its culture, the lay of the literary land of Italy.>