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Justin Cartwright was born in South Africa and educated in America and at Oxford University. His novel LEADING THE CHEERS won the Whitbread Book Award for 1998. Justin Cartwright lives in north London with his wife and two sons.
Photograph © Mark Gerson
Richard remembers his recently-deceased father, Alaric, as a delusional hippy, who saw himself as an intellectual and historian. Following in his father's footsteps, Richard travels to Jerusalem where he falls deeply in love with Noor, a beautiful but mysterious Canadian-Arab journalist. When Noor is kidnapped on assignment in Cairo and the facts of her capture emerge, Richard stumbles upon an important document, one that could rewrite not just the history of the Crusades, but his father's and his own as well.
A tragic, deeply moving tale narrated by a failed film director who develops a relationship with a baboon. Beautifully written and multi-layered, you’ve just got to read this and all his books. He is a wonderful author.Comparison: André Brink, J M Coetzee, William Boyd.
A gratifyingly unsound psychological odyssey . . . Cartwright destabilizes the novel's placid surface with aftershocks of historical tragedies. - The New York Times Book Review Frank McAllister has long since dropped Retief as his middle name, but the legacy of his family's history proves harder to shake. His ancestor Piet Retief, leader of the South African Great Trek, was killed by Zulu king Dingane in the 1838 massacre, along with a hundred men, women, and children. Afrikaner legend paints Retief as a homegrown Moses, bringing his people to the Promised Land. But Frank believes something rotten lies at the core of this family myth. Frank spends his days in his London home with his new partner and her son and the products of his wealth. But the return of his daughter, Lucinda, from rehab in California brings him intense guilt: having sided with him during his divorce from her mother, she crumbled under the weight of the bitter separation. Lucinda has brought home with her a mysterious boy, and they will join the family trip to Frank's beach house in South Africa--not far from the site of the 1838 massacre. In the lulls of their idyllic days, Frank unravels what really happened on that fateful day, and how it may connect to the violence of the apartheid years, and the violence encroaching on them even now. Up Against the Night is an enthralling tale of personal conflict and intrigue, set against the backdrop of South Africa's tangled past and troubled present, and told with tremendous color and insight. Absolutely original and gripping, it is destined to be as influential as JM Coetzee's Disgrace.
The Trevelyan family is in grave trouble. Their private bank of Tubal & Co. is on the verge of collapsing. It's not the first time in its three-hundred-and-forty year history, but it may be the last. A sale is under way, and a number of important facts need to be kept hidden, not only from the public, but also from Julian Trevelyan-Tubal's deeply traditional father, Sir Harry, who is incapacitated in the family villa in Antibes. Great families, great fortunes and even greater secrets collide in this gripping, satirical and acutely observed story of our time.
Die Londoner Bank Tubal & Co steckt in den groten Schwierigkeiten ihrer 300-jahrigen Geschichte. Denn Sohn Julian hat das familieneigene Geldhaus durch riskante Spekulationen ruiniert. Doch das muss er zunachst vor seinem greisen Vater - und dem Rest der Welt - geheim halten, um den Verkauf an einen Investor nicht zu gefahrden. Zu dumm, dass ihm dabei auch noch ein abgerissener Theatermacher in Cornwall, eine schuchterne Provinzjournalistin und, gewissermaen, sogar Daniel Day Lewis in die Quere kommen ... Whitbread-Preistrager Justin Cartright zeichnet ein brillantes, komisches und dabei absolut realistisches Sittenbild unserer Zeit.
Charles Judd meanders round his local Cornish beach, contemplating the turns his life has taken. His wife Daphne struggles hopelessly with the latest fish recipe, trying to keep something in her life under control. Two of their children are keeping it all together - just. But they are all still recovering from the shock of the prodigal daughter, Juliet, being imprisoned in New York State for her part in an art theft. Since then, Charles appears to have lost his entire family. Now Juliet is being released, the family is about to be reunited and the wounds her imprisonment has caused are being re-opened.
David Cross is surrounded by secrets. When his wife Nancy was alive he kept secrets from her and now that she is dead, he must hide his new happiness from his children, Lucy and Ed. But they too have their troubles: Ed's marriage is in trouble, Lucy is being stalked by her ex-boyfriend, and both worry that their father will find a new partner. To Heaven by Water is a touching and hilarious portrait of a family trying to come to terms with loss in their own way.
Oxford is many things. But it has a symbolic meaning well beyond its buildings, gardens, rituals and teaching. It stands for something deep in the Anglo-Saxon mind - excellence, a kind of privilege, a charmed life, deep-veined liberalism, a respect for tradition. Cartwright has spoken to many leading figures, looked at favourite places in Oxford, subjected himself to an English tutorial - he performed very poorly - attended the Freshers' dinner in his old college, studied various works of art and museums, investigated the claim that dons like detective novels, and reread many Oxford classics.At the same time, he has looked at some of the great debates which made Oxford what it is, as well as the most recent debate about funding, which ended in a resounding defeat for the reformers. He depicts the beauty of this historic city, the landscape of enclosed quads and gardens, and the astonishing collection of buildings. Cartwright concludes that the Oxford myth, while outstripping the reality, is as powerful as ever. This is an enchanting and highly original look at Oxford, indispensable reading for anyone interested in the myth and reality of Oxford.
On 20 July 1944, Adolf Hitler narrowly escaped an assassin's bomb. Axel von Gottberg and his conspirators were hunted down and hanged from meat-hooks, and the executions filmed. Sixty years later, Conrad Senior is left a legacy of papers by von Gottberg's close friend, the legendary Oxford professor Elya Mendel, and becomes obsessed with what they reveal and finding the brutal film. Award-winning writer Justin Cartwright has conjured a masterwork that addresses the nature of friendship and what it means to be human, and it is a remarkable tapestry of passion, ideas, frailty and courage.
A powerful elegy to the intimacies and idiocies of family, The Promise of Happiness tells the story of an apparently ordinary family on the cusp of an extraordinary moment: the return of the family's prodigal daughter, Juliet. Her release from an upstate New York prison throws the Judds, formerly of London but now scattered, back together. For her father, Juliet's conviction for a theft she may not have committed had proven the disintegration of a dying society. For her mother, it is a source not only of resentment, but bafflement. And for all of the Judds, it is a moment of both intense joy and confusion.As Justin Cartwright's novel opens, Juliet's parents await her release and return to England. Charlie, their capable and successful son, has been charged with collecting her and softening her reentry into the world, his own life unsettled meanwhile by his glamorous girlfriend's pregnancy and his ambivalence towards it. Sophie, the youngest and most rebellious sibling, is in the midst of getting her chaotic life (mostly) under control. And Juliet herself is wounded, the perfect daughter made scapegoat for a victimless crime. With searching perception and gentle humor, Justin Cartwright gradually reveals the inner struggles of the five disparate Judds as they grapple with their conflicting feelings for each other and the moral dilemmas that beset them, bringing them finally together in what is ultimately a celebration of the layers and universal oddness of the love of a family.
Dan Silas returns to America for his high school reunion where he makes some unexpected discoveries. His former girlfriend tells him that her daughter was his child and Dan's oldest friend has suffered a breakdown and now believes himself to be the reincarnation of an Indian chief. In an attempt to make sense of these disturbing facts, Dan digs further into their lives, with both tragic and comic results. LEADING THE CHEERS is a rich portrayal of small-town life with wonderfully evoked characters and Justin Cartwright's beautifully observed writing.