Benjamin Markovits

  • Paul Essinger, joueur de tennis professionnel, est qualifié pour l'US Open. Comme pour chaque tournoi, sa famille se réunit à New York afin de l'encourager. Ses parents, son frère, ses soeurs et ses neveux arrivent du Texas, de Harvard ou encore d'Angleterre. Aux yeux de Dana, la compagne de Paul, la tribu Essinger paraît très brillante et soudée, voire inaccessible tant elle compose un tableau idéal.
    Pourtant, chacun d'eux va vivre cette nouvelle épreuve avec des ambitions et des aspirations différentes. Révélations qui tournent court, légers accrocs et désaccords majeurs rythment ce week-end décisif. À travers une écriture vive et nerveuse, Benjamin Markovits capture toute la complexité d'une famille (apparemment) heureuse.

  • 2009. Greg Marnier, dit « Marny », revient aux États-Unis après avoir tenté sa chance en Europe. Un retour difficile dans une société ébranlée par la crise des subprimes. Aussi répond-il avec enthousiasme à l'invitation de Robert James, un de ses anciens amis, qui souhaite initier un projet de renouvellement urbain à Detroit, sinistrée par la crise de l'industrie automobile. Dans l'esprit des Pères pèlerins, ils posent les bases d'une communauté fondée sur l'espoir et la générosité. Leurs idéaux de départ se heurtent rapidement aux réalités, laissant resurgir les vieux démons de l'Amérique : incompréhensions, affrontements raciaux, relents de colonialisme et corruption larvée. Observateur de premier plan de ces tensions, Marny se voit contraint de prendre parti... « Audacieux et intelligent... Benjamin Markovits s'inscrit dans le sillage de Charles Dickens et Tom Wolfe : il dessine une toile de fond urbaine si réelle qu'elle constitue un écrin parfait pour une histoire aussi ciselée que dérangeante. » Prospect Magazine « Markovits est un fin observateur des éléments de langage et des tics comportementaux des uns et des autres. [...] Un captivant travail de fiction doté d'une morale qui a tout à voir avec la réalité. » Financial Times

  • En 1813, Lord Byron est au sommet de sa célébrité. L'Angleterre tout entière l'adule pour ses écrits poétiques, la gent féminine pour son aura déjà sulfureuse. Lors d'un bal, il rencontre Annabella Milbanke, une jeune femme raffinée et spirituelle, qu'il épouse deux ans plus tard. La présence d'Augusta Leigh, la demi-soeur de Byron avec qui il entretient une relation ambigüe, vient cependant perturber leur idylle. S'instaure un triangle amoureux dans lequel Annabella peine à trouver sa place, partagée entre les élans de son coeur et ce que lui dicte sa raison.

  • Three years after Lord Byron dismissed, Dr John Polidori has fallen on hard times. And then a woman mistakes the doctor for the poet. As the pair fall in love, Polidori knows that he can only emerge from Byron's shadow if he confesses his true identity to the girl; but was it only Byron's shadow that led her to love him in the first place?

  • Peter Sullivan, professeur de littérature, a consacré de nombreux écrits à Lord Byron. Lorsqu'il meurt mystérieusement, l'un de ses confrères hérite de ces textes demeurés inédits. Tandis que la carrière littéraire de ce dernier s'essouffle, il trouve un nouvel élan en s'improvisant détective littéraire : il met de l'ordre dans les manuscrits, en décrypte les sous-textes et entreprend de sonder les vies tumultueuses de Peter Sullivan et de Byron lui-même.

    Au fil de cette enquête littéraire à deux voix, Amours d'enfance entraîne le lecteur dans un questionnement sur l'identité d'un auteur et les sources de ses créations.

    « Un cycle littéraire adroit, énigmatique [...], l'un des projets fictionnels les plus fascinants de ces dernières années. » The Independent

  • Ten years out of Yale, with an extra degree from Oxford, and all Greg Marnier has to show for it is a rambling academic career that has landed him in Aberystwyth. At his college reunion, jetlagged and drunk, he runs into an old friend who offers him an extraordinary way out.Robert James, wealthy and influential, a success story of the dotcom bubble, wants to become a political player. His plan: to buy up several abandoned neighbourhoods in Detroit - the poster child for urban decline - and build a new America from their boarded-up ruins. For a small investment, Marnier can transform himself into a twenty-first-century pioneer. The realities of life on America's urban frontier soon become apparent. For every hopeful misfit who's come for a fresh start there's a native Detroiter whose patch is being swallowed up by the new colonials. Marnier finds himself caught in the middle of everyone else's battles - between local and outsider, rich and poor, black and white - until a terrible accident forces him to take sides.

  • Fresh out of college and uncertain how to proceed with life, the narrator of Ben Markovits' Playing Days finds himself drifting towards a career that once obsessed his father - professional basketball. Gaining a place on a minor league German team, he leaves Texas and lands in the small rather desolate town of Landshut, playing basketball with an eclectic group of teammates, training for most of the day and then trying to find ways to fill the rest of it. It's an odd, isolated existence, punctuated by the intense excitement - and often intense disappointment - of the game. But then he meets Anke, a young single mother who happens to be the former wife of one of his teammates; and their tentative, burgeoning relationship becomes as significant and as life changing as the game itself. Beautifully written, Playing Days is entirely recognisable in its depiction of the first long summer after university. Tinged with the melancholy and nostalgia of early steps into adulthood, it's the story of a young man's first experience of adult love, and of the discovery of his own limitations

  • In Fall we see the tentative beginnings of an unlikely romance - between schoolteacher Amy and drifting former graduate, Charles. In Winter we hear how her colleague Howard learns, seventeen years too late, that he has a daughter following a brief fling with collegemate Annie. Spring and Summer tell the story of his daughter's friend Rachel's relationships with her literature teacher, Stuart, and her dying father Reuben. Executed with exquisite sympathy, tenderness and emotional nuance, Either Side of Winter is a moving and elegiac picture of people whose lives are inextricably linked by circumstance, community - and a need to be loved.

  • Three years after Lord Byron dismissed, Dr John Polidori has fallen on hard times. And then a woman mistakes the doctor for the poet. As the pair fall in love, Polidori knows that he can only emerge from Byron's shadow if he confesses his true identity to the girl; but was it only Byron's shadow that led her to love him in the first place?

  • Nineteen-year -old Annabella Milbanke, visiting London for the swirl of parties and engagements of the season, is introduced to Byron at a waltz. He has just published Childe Harold, and is surrounded by a crowd of admirers, one of whom is his half-sister Augusta Leigh. Annabella and Byron fall in love, but Augusta's unwelcome presence in their relationship becomes increasingly unbearable. Caught up in a potentially scandalous love triangle, Annabella must decide whether following her heart is the most dangerous thing she has ever done . . .

  • When his former colleague Peter Sullivan dies, the narrator of Childish Loves inherits his life's work - a number of fragmentary manuscripts about the life of Lord Byron. Fascinated by his prose -- and intrigued by the rather sinister rumours surrounding Peter's life, including whispers of an inappropriate liaision with a young boy -- he has the manuscripts published and then sets out to discover whether the reimagining of Byron's lost memoires can provide a key to Sullivan's own elusive life and tarnished reputation.Acting as a literary sleuth, he sorts through boxes of Sullivan's writing; reads between the lines of his scandalous, Byron-inspired stories; meets with the Society for the Publication of the Dead; and tracks down people from Peter's past in an effort to untangle rumour from reality. In the process, he crafts a masterful story-within-a-story that turns on uncomfortable questions about childhood and sexual awakening, innocence and attraction, while exploring the lives of three very different writers and their brushes with success and failure in both literature and life.

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