“Brooke-Rose is a scholar and a wit and her first novel is delightful. She turns pedantry into a fool’s bladder . . . out of the ordinary . . . the ghost of Madame de Lafayette seems to discharge a gleam of sympathetic recognition.”—JOHN DAVENPORT, Observer
“. . . a nice light touch, her wit and observation are sharp, and she will doubtless come to occupy a sizeable chair in the post-war school of novelist academics.”—The Times
Julia Grampion, 28 years old, has just been awarded her doctorate at London University, but life seems rather dismal: her engagement with Paul has ended because of religious complications. She drifts into another affair, learning a different and more changeable idiom of love, learning also how language disguises the shifting uncertainties of human relationships.
Set in a post-war 1950s cosmopolitan London, The Languages of Love features university departments, the Reading Room of the British Museum, espresso bars and little restaurants in Soho, the Serpentine Lido, the London Docks, publishers’ parties and a Bloomsbury “room of one’s own”, as well as a varied cast of characters including professors, students, philologists and mediaevalists, highbrow journalists and publishers: Bernard, Julia’s lover after the break with Paul, is sensual, cultured, selfish, with a learned French wife, Nicolette; Paul, charming and devoted, is unable or unwilling to transgress the laws of his church. The East-African student Hussein, simple, passionate, intelligent, is prompt with the quotation of Sanuri proverbs, like a refreshing oasis in the dusty desert of London’s life that reveal his love for the exquisite Georgina. A first novel of wit and intelligence marking an out-of-the-ordinary talent. Read an excerpt
Release Date: March 21st, 2014. Available from all booksellers and usual online retailers. ISBN: 9789810793753.
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