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Rupert Thomson - Author

About the Author

Born on the south coast of England in 1955, Rupert Thomson was educated at Christ's Hospital School. At the age of seventeen he won a scholarship to Cambridge University where he studied Medieval History and Political Thought. In his twenties, he spent four years working as a copywriter in London, but in 1982 he moved to Italy where he started work on a novel. Dreams of Leaving was published in 1987, and was hailed in the Times as 'extraordinarily elegant, evocative and funny', while the New Statesman wrote: 'When someone writes as well as Thomson does, it makes you wonder why other people bother'. Since then, he has published six more highly acclaimed novels, two of which, Air and Fire and The Insult have been shortlisted for awards. Though his books consistently defy categorisation, the San Francisco Chronicle came closer than most when it described him as a ‘twisted British fabulist’. During the past twenty years he has lived in many cities, including London, Berlin, New York, Tokyo, Sydney, Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Rome. He currently lives in Barcelona.

Photograph © Hugo Glendinning

Featured books by Rupert Thomson

Katherine Carlyle

Katherine Carlyle

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2016

In the late 80s, Katherine Carlyle is created using IVF. Stored as a frozen embryo for eight years, she is then implanted in her mother and given life. By the age of nineteen Katherine has lost her mother to cancer, and feels her father to be an increasingly distant figure. Instead of going to college, she decides to disappear, telling no one where she has gone. What begins as an attempt to punish her father for his absence gradually becomes a testing-ground of his love for her, a coming-to-terms with the death of her mother, and finally the mise-en-scene for a courageous leap from false empowerment to true empowerment.

This Party's Got to Stop

This Party's Got to Stop

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2011

In his first venture into non-fiction, the celebrated novelist Rupert Thomson has produced one of the most extraordinary and unforgettable memoirs of recent years. On a warm, sunny day in July 1964, Thomson returned home from school to discover that his mother had died suddenly while playing tennis. Twenty years later, Thomson and his brothers get word that their father, who suffered chronic lung damage during the war, has died alone in hospital. In an attempt to come to terms both with their own loss and with their parents' legacies, the three brothers move back into their father's house. The time they spend in this decadent, anarchic commune leads to a rift between Thomson and his youngest brother, a rift that will not be addressed for more than two decades. 

Other books by Rupert Thomson

Never Anyone But You

Never Anyone But You

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/01/2019

'A novel of tremendous beauty . . . A wonderful achievement' Sarah Waters 'A beautiful and extraordinary book' Philip Pullman When Suzanne, a shy 17-year-old, meets the brilliant but troubled Lucie in rural Provence at the turn of the twentieth century, the two young women embark on a clandestine love affair. But they soon long for greater freedom. The lovers move to Paris where they recreate themselves entirely, as Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore. Before long, they are mixing in the most glamorous social circles and producing art of great power and strangeness. But the world is rapidly darkening around them. With war looming they leave Paris for Jersey, and it is here that they confront their destiny, dreaming up a campaign of propaganda against Hitler's occupying forces that will put their love - and even their very existence - in jeopardy. From one of our most celebrated writers, Never Anyone but You explores the gripping true story of two extraordinary women who smashed gender boundaries and ultimately risked their lives to overcome oppression. Theirs is a story that has been hidden in the margins of history - until now...

Never Anyone But You

Never Anyone But You

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/06/2018

'A taut, magnificently controlled novel' the Guardian 'A beautiful and extraordinary book . . . It's a long time since I read a love story quite so convincing and truthful' Philip Pullman A small city in western France. The early twentieth century. Suzanne Malherbe, a shy 17-year-old with a rare talent for drawing, is entranced by the brilliant but troubled Lucie Schwob, the daughter of a Jewish newspaper magnate, and the two young women embark on a clandestine love affair. Stifled by provincial convention and a society that is overtly patriarchal, they reinvent themselves as Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore and move to Paris, where they are swept up in the most glamorous social circles, meeting everyone from Hemingway and Dali to Andre Breton, and produce photographic work of great originality and strangeness. As World War Two looms, they leave for Jersey, and it is here that they confront their destiny, dreaming up a campaign of propaganda against Hitler's occupying forces. From one of our most celebrated writers, Never Anyone But You explores the gripping true story of two extraordinary women who challenged gender boundaries, and ultimately risked their lives in the fight against oppression. Theirs is a story that has been hidden in the margins of history - until now... 'Sensitively realised and hugely powerful' Daily Mail

Never Anyone But You

Never Anyone But You

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/06/2018

A small city in western France,. The early twentieth century. Suzanne Malherbe, a shy 17-year-old with a rare talent for drawing, is entranced by the brilliant but troubled Lucie Schwob, the daughter of a Jewish newspaper magnate, and the two young women embark on a clandestine love affair. Stifled by provincial convention and a society that is overtly patriarchal, they reinvent themselves as Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore and move to Paris, where they are swept up in the most glamorous social circles, meeting everyone from Hemingway and Dali to Andre Breton, and produce photographic work of great originality and strangeness. As World War Two looms, they leave for Jersey, and it is here that they confront their destiny, dreaming up a campaign of propaganda against Hitler's occupying forces. From one of our most celebrated writers, Never Anyone But You explores the gripping true story of two extraordinary women who challenged gender boundaries, and ultimately risked their lives in the fight against oppression. Theirs is a story that has been hidden in the margins of history - until now...

Never Anyone But You

Never Anyone But You

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: eBook Release Date: 05/06/2018

The true story of a love affair between two extraordinary women becomes a literary tour deforce in this novel that recreates the surrealist movement in Paris and the horrors of the two world wars with a singular incandescence and intimacy.In the years preceding World War I, two young women meet, by chance, in a provincial town in France. Suzanne Malherbe, a shy seventeen-year-old with a talent for drawing, is completely entranced by the brilliant but troubled Lucie Schwob, who comes from a family of wealthy Jewish intellectuals. They embark on a clandestine love affair, terrified they will be discovered, but then, in an astonishing twist of fate, the mother of one marries the father of the other. As ';sisters' they are finally free of suspicion, and, hungry for a more stimulating milieu, they move to Paris at a moment when art, literature, and politics blend in an explosive cocktail.Having reinvented themselves as Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, they move in the most glamorous social circles, meeting everyone from Hemingway and Dal to Andre Breton, and produce provocative photographs that still seem avant-garde today. In the 1930s, with the rise of anti-Semitism and threat of fascism, they leave Paris for Jersey, and it is on this idyllic island that they confront their destiny, creating a campaign of propaganda against Hitler's occupying forces that will put their lives in jeopardy.Brilliantly imagined, profoundly thought-provoking, and ultimately heartbreaking,Never Anyone But Youinfuses life into a forgotten history as only great literature can.

Never Anyone but You

Never Anyone but You

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: eBook Release Date: 05/06/2018

The true story of a love affair between two extraordinary women becomes a literary tour de force in this novel that recreates the surrealist movement in Paris and the horrors of the two world wars with a singular incandescence and intimacyIn the years preceding World War I, two young women meet, by chance, in a provincial town in France. Suzanne Malherbe, a shy seventeen-year-old with a talent for drawing, is completely entranced by the brilliant but troubled Lucie Schwob, who comes from a family of wealthy Jewish intellectuals. They embark on a clandestine love affair, terrified they will be discovered, but then, in an astonishing twist of fate, the mother of one marries the father of the other. As "e;sisters"e; they are finally free of suspicion, and, hungry for a more stimulating milieu, they move to Paris at a moment when art, literature, and politics blend in an explosive cocktail.Having reinvented themselves as Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, they move in the most glamorous social circles, meeting everyone from Hemingway and Dali to Andre Breton, and produce provocative photographs that still seem avant-garde today. In the 1930s, with the rise of anti-Semitism and threat of fascism, they leave Paris for Jersey, and it is on this idyllic island that they confront their destiny, creating a campaign of propaganda against Hitler's occupying forces that will put their lives in jeopardy.Brilliantly imagined, profoundly thought-provoking, and ultimately heartbreaking, Never Anyone but You infuses life into a forgotten history as only great literature can.

Katherine Carlyle

Katherine Carlyle

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2016

In the late 80s, Katherine Carlyle is created using IVF. Stored as a frozen embryo for eight years, she is then implanted in her mother and given life. By the age of nineteen Katherine has lost her mother to cancer, and feels her father to be an increasingly distant figure. Instead of going to college, she decides to disappear, telling no one where she has gone. What begins as an attempt to punish her father for his absence gradually becomes a testing-ground of his love for her, a coming-to-terms with the death of her mother, and finally the mise-en-scene for a courageous leap from false empowerment to true empowerment.

Secrecy

Secrecy

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/01/2014

Zummo - a 17th-century prodigy and creator of figures so realistic they look as though they might draw breath - has spent his life fleeing his past. Summoned to the Medici court by the Grand Duke, a man of holy devotions and hidden longings, Zummo finds himself in a city riddled with hypocrisy and contradictions, where adulterers are publicly flogged, while within the palace walls members of the court indulge their nefarious pleasures. Commissioned by the Grand Duke to sculpt a life-size Venus from wax, Zummo scours the streets for inspiration. But 1690s Florence is a place of unforseen dangers and secrets still more devastating than his own, and when a young woman's body is found on the banks of the Arno, Zummo suspects that the source of vice has its bed in the Medici court. As he proceeds with his creation, he begins to wonder whether this perfect woman will be his salvation or his downfall. Set in a Florence blighted by corruption and austerity, Secrecy is a tour de force of whispered pleasures and startling revelations. It is a scintillating, breathtaking read from a novelist at the height of his powers.

Air and Fire

Air and Fire

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/08/2012

At the turn of the century Theophile and Suzanne Valence sail into the Mexican copper-mining town of Santa Sofia. Theo has travelled here to build a metal church designed by his mentor, the great engineer Gustave Eiffel. His wife Suzanne, wayward and graced with the gift of clairvoyance is deeply in love and has insisted on accompanying him. But the magical landscape inspires no answering passion in Theo. In her loneliness she turns to the American gold prospector Wilson Pharaoh, and soon he, like the town and its inhabitants, falls under her spell, an enchantment as seductive as Suzanne herself.

Divided Kingdom

Divided Kingdom

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/08/2012

It is winter, somewhere in the United Kingdom, and an eight-year-old boy is removed from his home and family in the middle of the night. He learns that he is the victim of an extraordinary experiment. In an attempt to reform society, the government has divided the population into four groups, each representing a different personality type. The land, too, has been divided into quarters. Borders have been established, reinforced by concrete walls, armed guards and rolls of razor wire. Plunged headlong into this brave new world, the boy tries to make the best of things, unaware that ahead of him lies a truly explosive moment, a revelation that will challenge everything he believes in and will, in the end, put his very life in jeopardy ...

Death of a Murderer

Death of a Murderer

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/08/2012

One night in November 2002, PC Billy Tyler is called to a mortuary in Suffolk to guard the body of a notorious child-killer. But in the eerie silence of the hospital, the killer's presence begins to assert itself... A vivid evocation of an extraordinary moment in crime history, Death of a Murderer is a dark and gripping meditation on the fears and temptations that haunt us all.

Dreams of Leaving

Dreams of Leaving

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/08/2012

New Egypt is a village somewhere in the South of England. A village that nobody has ever left. Peach, the sadistic chief of police, makes sure of that. Then, one misty morning, a young couple secretly set their baby son Moses afloat on the river, in a basket made of rushes. Years later, Moses is living above a nightclub, mixing with drug-dealers, thieves and topless waitresses. He knows nothing about his past - but it is catching up with him nevertheless, and it threatens to put his life in danger. Terror, magic and farce all have a part to play as the worlds of Peach and Moses slowly converge.

The Five Gates of Hell

The Five Gates of Hell

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/08/2012

There were very few land burials in Moon Beach. It was considered old-fashioned, unhealthy and something that only happened to the poor. Instead the dead were buried in ocean cemeteries, twelve miles out. A special festival was held every year in their honour. Children loved it. They were given white chocolate bones, marzipan skulls and ice-cream coffins on a stick. There were costume parties too. You had to wear something blue because that was the colour people went when they were buried under the sea. You could paint your hands and face if you liked, or even dye your hair. That's what people did in Moon Beach. Turned blue once a year. And then they turned blue forever...

The Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/08/2012

On a bright spring day in Amsterdam a man goes out to buy a packet of cigarettes. He is a dancer - charismatic, talented and physically beautiful. What happens next takes him completely by surprise and marks him for ever. He awakens to find that he has been abducted by three hooded strangers and subsequently imprisoned in a mysterious white room, which will have consequences that are both poignant and highly disturbing.

Soft

Soft

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/08/2012

The objective of advertising is to change the behaviour of the consumer so they purchase more of the product. That, at any rate, is the theory. But Jimmy Lyle may have taken things a bit too far with his controversial strategy for the UK launch of Kwench! When the new orange soft-drink hits the streets, it triggers a series of events he could not have anticipated. Certainly he never dreamed it would plunge him into the twilight world of synchronised swimming. Nor did he think it would end in murder ...

The Insult

The Insult

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/08/2012

One of David Bowie's 100 Must-Read Books of All Time It is a Thursday evening. After work Martin Blom drives to the supermarket to buy some groceries. As he walks back to his car, a shot rings out. When he wakes up he is blind. His neurosurgeon, Bruno Visser, tells him that his loss of sight is permanent and that he must expect to experience shock, depression, self-pity, even suicidal thoughts before his rehabilitation is complete. But it doesn't work out quite like that. One spring evening, while Martin is practising in the clinic gardens with his new white cane, something miraculous happens ...

This Party's Got to Stop

This Party's Got to Stop

Author: Rupert Thomson Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2011

In his first venture into non-fiction, the celebrated novelist Rupert Thomson has produced one of the most extraordinary and unforgettable memoirs of recent years. On a warm, sunny day in July 1964, Thomson returned home from school to discover that his mother had died suddenly while playing tennis. Twenty years later, Thomson and his brothers get word that their father, who suffered chronic lung damage during the war, has died alone in hospital. In an attempt to come to terms both with their own loss and with their parents' legacies, the three brothers move back into their father's house. The time they spend in this decadent, anarchic commune leads to a rift between Thomson and his youngest brother, a rift that will not be addressed for more than two decades. 

Author Info

Author's Website

http://www.dividedkingdom.co.uk/

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