Un don juan patenté s'impose la chasteté mais compense en collectionnant les baisers volés ; un kleptomane retrace son parcours de vie à travers les objets qu'il a dérobés ; un couple séparé se retrouve par hasard et remonte les cinq ans de sa relation, en partant de la rupture banale pour revenir au coup de foudre initial ; une jeune femme qui accumule les échecs professionnels et amoureux réussit à toujours avancer en faisant du surplace ; un acteur naïf voit sa vraie vie se transformer en un cauchemardesque thriller de série B.
Tous ces chemins que nous n'avons pas pris nous donne à voir ces rencontres fortuites qui font affleurer le passé à la surface de nos émotions, ces décisions impulsives qui changent irrévocablement le cours d'une vie, ces hésitations et renoncements qui compliquent tout.
Des nouvelles pleines d'humour, de sensibilité et de surprises qui mettent en valeur une fois de plus le regard pénétrant, malicieux et bienveillant de William Boyd et son talent unique de conteur.
William Boyd est né à Accra (Ghana) en 1952 et a étudié à Glasgow, Nice et Oxford, où il a également enseigné la littérature. Auteur réputé de fiction, d'essais et de théâtre, il est aussi scénariste et réalisateur. Il a repris en 2013 le flambeau de la saga " James Bond " créée par Ian Fleming.
Traduit de l'anglais (Grande-Bretagne) par Isabelle Perrin
Isabelle Perrin, que tout destinait à une sage carrière universitaire, contracte le virus de la traduction littéraire auprès de sa mère Mimi. Les incurables duettistes cosigneront plus de trente traductions, dont tous les romans de John le Carré depuis La Maison Russie.
Au lendemain de la Première Guerre mondiale, la très jeune Amory Clay se voit offrir par son oncle Greville un appareil photo et quelques conseils rudimentaires pour s'en servir. Elle ignore alors que c'est le déclencheur d'une passion qui façonnera irrévocablement sa vie future. Un bref apprentissage dans un studio et des portraits de la bonne société laissent Amory sur sa faim. Sa quête de vie, d'amour et d'expression artistique l'emporte bientôt dans un parcours audacieux et trépidant, du Berlin interlope des années vingt au New York des années trente, de Londres secoué par les émeutes des Chemises noires à la France occupée et au théâtre des opérations militaires, où elle devient l'une des premières femmes photoreporters de guerre. Sa soif d'expériences entraîne Amory vers d'autres conflits, des amants, un mari, des enfants, tandis qu'elle continue à poursuivre ses rêves, à combattre ses démons.À travers le destin singulier et l'objectif téméraire d'une femme indépendante et généreuse, William Boyd nous promène au gré des événements les plus marquants de l'histoire contemporaine.Une ode magnifique à la liberté des femmes !William Boyd, né à Accra (Ghana) en 1952, a étudié à Glasgow, Nice et Oxford, où il a également enseigné la littérature. Auteur réputé de fiction, d'essais et de théâtre, il est également scénariste et réalisateur. Avec Susan, sa femme, il partage son temps entre Londres et la Dordogne.Isabelle Perrin, que tout destinait à une sage carrière universitaire, contracte le virus de la traduction littéraire auprès de sa mère Mimi. Les incurables duettistes cosigneront plus de trente traductions, dont tous les romans de John le Carré depuis La Maison Russie.
En cette fin d'été 1913, le jeune comédien anglais Lysander Rief est à Vienne pour tenter de résoudre, grâce à cette nouvelle science des âmes qu'est la psychanalyse, un problème d'ordre intime. Dans le cabinet de son médecin, il croise une jeune femme hystérique d'une étrange beauté qui lui prouvera très vite qu'il est guéri, avant de l'entraîner dans une histoire invraisemblable dont il ne sortira qu'en fuyant le pays grâce à deux diplomates britanniques, et ce au prix d'un marché peu banal. Dès lors, Lysander, espion malgré lui, sera contraint de jouer sur le théâtre des opérations d'une Europe en guerre les grands rôles d'une série de tragi-comédies. Sa mission : découvrir un code secret, dont dépend la sécurité des Alliés, et le traître qui en est l'auteur. Sexe, scandale, mensonges ou vérités multiples aux frontières élastiques, chaque jour et chaque nuit apportent leur tombereau d'énigmes et de soupçons. L'aube finira-t-elle par se lever sur ce monde de l'ombre, et par dissiper enfin les doutes que sème avec une délectation sournoise chez le lecteur fasciné l'auteur de cet étonnant roman du clair-obscur ?
1894. Accordeur surdoué à l'oreille absolue, le jeune Brodie Moncur, employé d'un vénérable fabricant de pianos à Édimbourg, accepte avec joie un poste important dans la filiale parisienne, fuyant ainsi l'ennui de la province et la hargne de son pasteur de père. Mais sa rencontre avec John Kilbarron, le " Liszt irlandais ", et la maîtresse de ce dernier, la soprano russe Lika Blum, dont il tombe fou amoureux, va changer inéluctablement le cours de son existence. Devenu indispensable au pianiste, il le suit de Paris à Saint-Pétersbourg, où sa liaison clandestine avec Lika est éventée par Malachi, le frère maléfique de Kilbarron.
Dès lors convaincu d'être traqué, Brodie ne cessera d'errer et de courir d'un bout à l'autre de l'Europe – Nice, Genève, Trieste ou encore Vienne – avant de s'exiler dans les îles Andaman, au large des côtes indiennes, où se scellera son destin.
Dans ce livre foisonnant et romantique en diable, le maestro William Boyd mêle la passion, la musique, l'Histoire à l'aube des bouleversements du XXe siècle, et entraîne le lecteur dans les coulisses fascinantes des acteurs méconnus et géniaux du monde de la musique.
William Boyd, né à Accra, au Ghana, en 1952, est l'auteur de quinze romans abondamment primés, de plusieurs recueils de nouvelles, essais et pièces de théâtre. Il est également scénariste et réalisateur de cinéma. Il partage son temps avec sa femme Susan, entre Londres et la Dordogne.
Traduit de l'anglais (Grande-Bretagne) par Isabelle Perrin
1969. Espion chevronné, membre surdoué des services secrets de Sa Majesté, James Bond célèbre ses quarante-cinq ans avec une mission peu ordinaire : mettre un terme à la guerre civile qui déchire le Zanzarim, petit pays d'Afrique occidentale. Aidé par la
Any Human Heart is William's Boyd's classic, bestselling novel - now a major Channel 4 drama Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, but Logan Mountstuart's - lived from the beginning to the end of the twentieth century - contains more than its fair share of both. As a writer who finds inspiration with Hemingway in Paris and Virginia Woolf in London, as a spy recruited by Ian Fleming and betrayed in the war and as an art-dealer in '60s New York, Logan mixes with the movers and shakers of his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness. Here, then, is the story of a life lived to the full - and a journey deep into a very human heart.
Any Human Heart will be enjoyed by readers of Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel, as well as lovers of the finest British and historical fiction around the world. It was recently adapted for a major Channel 4 four-part drama series scripted by William Boyd and starring Kim Cattrall, Gillian Anderson, Jim Broadbent and Tom Hollander.
'Astonishing, touching, extremely funny. A brilliant evocation of a past era and an immensely readable story' Sunday Telegraph 'Superb, wonderful, enjoyable' Guardian 'A terrific journey through the twentieth century. Thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable' Jeremy Paxman William Boyd was born in Ghana, where his father was a doctor, and was educated there and in Scotland. His first novel A Good Man in Africa won both the Whitbread First Novel and Somerset Maugham Prizes, and his subsequent novels have gone onto win many awards. His books include: On the Yankee Station and Other Stories, An Ice-Cream War, Stars and Bars, School Ties, The New Confessions, Brazzaville Beach, The Blue Afternoon, The Destiny of Natalie 'X' and Other Stories, Armadillo, Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928-1960, Any Human Heart, Restless, The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth, Ordinary Thunderstorms, Fascination, Bamboo and Waiting for Sunrise. He divides his time between London and south-west France.
Vienna. 1913. It is a fine day in August when Lysander Rief, a young English actor, walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist, Dr. Bensimon. Sitting in the waiting room he is anxiously pondering the nature of his problem when an extraordinary woman enters. She is clearly in distress, but Lysander is immediately drawn to her strange, hazel eyes and her unusual, intense beauty.
Later the same day they meet again, and a more composed Hettie Bull introduces herself as an artist and sculptor, and invites Lysander to a party hosted by her lover, the famous painter Udo Hoff. Compelled to attend and unable to resist her electric charm, they begin a passionate love affair. Life in Vienna becomes tinged with the frisson of excitement for Lysander. He meets Sigmund Freud in a café, begins to write a journal, enjoys secret trysts with Hettie and appears to have been cured.
London, 1914. War is stirring, and events in Vienna have caught up with Lysander. Unable to live an ordinary life, he is plunged into the dangerous theatre of wartime intelligence - a world of sex, scandal and spies, where lines of truth and deception blur with every waking day. Lysander must now discover the key to a secret code which is threatening Britain's safety, and use all his skills to keep the murky world of suspicion and betrayal from invading every corner of his life.
Moving from Vienna to London's west end, the battlefields of France and hotel rooms in Geneva, Waiting for Sunrise is a feverish and mesmerising journey into the human psyche, a beautifully observed portrait of wartime Europe, a plot-twisting thriller and a literary tour de force from the bestselling author of Any Human Heart, Restless and Ordinary Thunderstorms.
The infamous literary prank that fooled a legion of art critics in the 1990s Artist Nathwell Tate was born in 1928 in Union Beach, New Jersey. On January 8 1960 he contrived to round up and burn almost his entire output of Abstract Expressionism. Four days later he killed himself. This book offers an account of Tate's life and work.
--- When William Boyd published his biography of New York modern artist Nat Tate, a huge reception of critics and artists arrived for the launch party, hosted by David Bowie, to toast the late artist's life. Little did they know that the painter Nat Tate, a depressive genius who burned almost all his output before his suicide, never existed. The book was a hoax, and the art world had fallen for it.
Nat Tate is a work of art unto itself - an investigation of the blurry line between the invented and the authentic, and a thoughtful tour through the spirited and occasionally ludicrous American art scene of the 1950s.
Fascination is master storyteller William Boyd's third volume of short stories Described as "the finest storyteller of his generation", and following his acclaimed collections On the Yankee Station (1981) and The Destiny of Nathalie X (1995), in Fascination Boyd shows his brilliance of the form as these stories range widely through time and space. In a dazzling array of styles and narratives we move from 1930s Germany to Los Angeles in the Second World War, from contemporary Oxford to 19th century Russia. Whether in London or Amsterdam. Eastbourne or a Normandy village these stories explore and expose the fraught, funny, absurd, poignant and lovelorn lives of their many and varied characters.
Fascination will be loved by fans of Any Human Heart, as well as readers of William Trevor, Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel.
'The stories here are perfect ... suffused with an understanding of love, desire andemotional incompetence' Guardian 'Perfectly formed snapshots of life at its most mystifying' Daily Mail 'Consistently entertaining' Literary Review 'Boyd achieves his best writing, observing tiny moments of love, lust and epiphanywith extraordinary sensitivity' Spectator William Boyd was born in Ghana, where his father was a doctor, and was educated there and in Scotland. His first novel A Good Man in Africa won both the Whitbread First Novel and Somerset Maugham Prizes, and his subsequent novelshave gone onto win many awards. His books include: On the Yankee Station and Other Stories, An Ice-Cream War, Stars and Bars, School Ties, The New Confessions, BrazzavilleBeach, The Blue Afternoon, The Destiny of Natalie 'X' and Other Stories, Armadillo, Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928-1960, Any Human Heart, Restless,The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth, Ordinary Thunderstorms, Bamboo and Waiting for Sunrise. He divides his time between London and south-west France.
Funny, moving and sharply observed, these stories are confirmation of Boyd's status as one of English fiction's finest writers. Here are twenty-four gripping tales told in bold, distinct voices from Brazil to Africa and from Nice to Hollywood. This eclectic collection by the acclaimed author of Restless and Brazzaville Beach is a must-read for any lover of the short story.
This new collection of stories is William Boyd's second, appearing some fourteen years after his first, On the Yankee Station. Once again the stories range widely across the time and space of the twentieth century. 'The Destiny of Nathalie "X" 'is a modern fable about Hollywood; 'Cork' tells of a bizarre love affair between an Englishwoman and a Portuguese poet in 19305 Lisbon; Transfigured Night' is set in Vienna during the First World War and is concerned with the problematic relationship between a wealthy patron (who bears a curious resemblance to Ludwig Wittgenstein) and his indifferent benefactor. Fantasy and farce, rueful longing and the bitter acknowledgement of life's relentless ironies all feature in these nine stories by one of our most celebrated and imaginative writers.
Wiliam Boyd, winner of the Whitbread and Somerset Maugham Awards, introduces unlikely heroes desperate to redeem their unsatisfying lives.
From California poolsides to the battlegrounds of Vietnam, here is a world populated by weary souls who turn to fantasy as their sole escape from life's inequities. Stranded in an African hotel during a coup, an oafish Englishman impresses a young stewardess with stories of an enchanted life completely at odds with his sordid existence in "The Coup." In the title story, an arrogant, sadistic American pilot in Vietnam underestimaets the power of revenge when he relentlessly persecutes a member of his maintenance crew. With droll humor and rare compassion, Boyd's enthralling stories remind us of his stature as one of contemporary fiction's finest storytellers.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
*The Sunday Times Bestseller* It is 1969 and James Bond is about to go solo, recklessly motivated by revenge.
A seasoned veteran of the service, 007 is sent to single-handedly stop a civil war in the small West African nation of Zanzarim. Aided by a beautiful accomplice and hindered by the local militia, he undergoes a scarring experience which compels him to ignore M's orders in pursuit of his own brand of justice. Bond's renegade action leads him to Washington, D.C., where he discovers a web of intrigue and witnesses fresh horrors.
Even if Bond succeeds in exacting his revenge, a man with two faces will come to stalk his every waking moment.
Brazzaville Beach is a classic award-winning novel by William Boyd Winner of the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize 'I live on Brazzaville Beach ... I am here because two sets of strange and extraordinary events happened to me ... One in England, first, and then one in Africa.' On Brazzaville Beach, on the edge of Africa, Hope Clearwater examines the complex circumstances that brought her there. Sifting the details for evidence of her own innocence or guilt, she tells her engrossing story with a blunt and beguiling honesty that not only intrigues and disturbs but is also completely enthralling.
Brazzaville Beach will be loved by fans of Any Human Heart, as well as readers of Ben Macintyre, Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel.
'Brazzaville Beach exudes confidence; Boyd has grown in authority from book to book. Things are by turn hilarious and edgy but always under control' Sunday Times 'A brilliant storyteller... a book which stretches, tantalizes and delights' Financial Times 'As intelligent as anything you're likely to read... slips by like a thriller' Time Out 'A most extraordinary parable about mankind... quite unlike anything else I have ever read' Sunday Express William Boyd was born in Ghana, where his father was a doctor, and was educated there and in Scotland. His first novel A Good Man in Africa won both the Whitbread First Novel and Somerset Maugham Prizes, and his subsequent novels have gone onto win many awards. His books include: On the Yankee Station and Other Stories, An Ice-Cream War, Stars and Bars, School Ties, The New Confessions, The Blue Afternoon, The Destiny of Natalie 'X' and Other Stories, Armadillo, Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928-1960, Any Human Heart, Restless, The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth, Ordinary Thunderstorms, Fascination, Bamboo and Waiting for Sunrise. He divides his time between London and south-west France.
A Good Man in Africa is William Boyd's classic, prize-winning debut novelWinner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham PrizeEscapee from suburbia, overweight, oversexed ... Morgan Leafy isn't overburdened with worldly success. Actually, he is refreshingly free from it. But then, as a representative of Her Britannic Majesty in tropical Kinjanja, it was not very constructive of him to get involved in wholesale bribery. Nor was it exactly oiling his way up the ladder to hunt down the improbably pointed breasts of his boss's daughter when officially banned from horizontal delights by a nasty dose ... Falling back on his deep-laid reserves of misanthropy and guile, Morgan has to fight off the sea of humiliation, betrayal and ju-ju that threatens to wash over him. A Good Man in Africa is one of the greatest comic novels of recent times and will be loved by fansof Any Human Heart, as well as readers of Ben Macintyre, SebastianFaulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel'Wickedly funny' The Times 'If a widening grim is the test of a novel's entertainment value in retospect, A Good Man in Africa romps home' Guardian
Stars and Bars by novelist William Boyd is one of the comic masterpiecesAll Henderson Dores dreams of is fitting in. But America, land of the loony millionaire and the subway poet, down-home Bible-basher and sharp-suited hood, of paralysing personal frankness and surreally fantasized facilities, is hard enough for an Englishman to fit in to. Henderson could never shed enough inhibitions to become just another weirdo. Or could he? This hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy, which Boyd also adapted for screen for the 1980s film starring Daniel Day Lewis, was described in the Guardian as, 'Splittingly shrewd and engaging ... with an extra and uneasy little something fretting away at the ribald content'.Stars and Bars will be loved by fans of Any Human Heart and A Good Man in Africa, as well as readers of David Nicholls, Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel.'The wry laughter never stops ... the shrewdest pages yet from a master of wittymanipulation' Observer
Set in the years 1914 to 1918, An Ice Cream War follows the fortunes of two English brothers who enlist and fight in German East Africa. Contrasting the vibrant chaos of East Africa with the quiet gentility of Edwardian England, the novel tracks the brothers' very different but equally tragic experiences in the war and the pressures and sorrows of those they leave at home.
The New Confessions is a wickedly funny novel by bestselling author William Boyd 'Brilliant ... a Citizen Kane of a novel' Daily Telegraph The New Confessions is the outrageous, extraordinary, hilarious and heartbreaking autobiography of John James Todd, a Scotsman born in 1899 and one of the great self-appointed (and failed) geniuses of the twentieth century.
'An often magnificent feat of story-telling and panoramic reconstruction ... John James Todd's reminiscences carry us through the ups and downs of a long and lively career that begins in genteel Edinburgh, devastatingly detours out to the Western Front, forks off, after a period of cosy family life in London, to the electric excitements of the Berlin film-world of the Twenties, then moves on to Hollywood ... to ordeal by McCarthyism and eventual escape to Europe' Peter Kemp, Observer.
The New Confessions will be loved by fans of An Ice-cream War and Any Human Heart, as well as readers of Ben Macintyre, Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel.
Amory's first memory is of her father doing a handstand. She has memories of him returning on leave during the First World War. But his absences, both actual and emotional, are what she chiefly remembers. It is her photographer uncle Greville who supplies the emotional bond she needs, and, when he gives her a camera and some rudimentary lessons in photography, unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future. A spell at boarding school ends abruptly and Amory begins an apprenticeship with Greville in London, living in his flat in Kensington, earning two pounds a week photographing socialites for fashionable magazines. But Amory is hungry for more and her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demi monde of Berlin of the late 1920s, to New York of the 1930s, to the Blackshirt riots in London and to France in the Second World War where she becomes one of the first women war photographers. Her desire for experience will lead Amory to further wars, to lovers, husbands and children as she continues to pursue her dreams and battle her demons. In this enthralling story of a life fully lived, William Boyd has created a sweeping panorama of some of the most defining moments of modern history, told through the camera lens of one unforgettable woman, Amory Clay. It is his greatest achievement to date.
A philandering art dealer tries to give up casual love affairs - seeking only passionate kisses as a substitute. A man recounts his personal history through the things he has stolen from others throughout his life. A couple chart the journey of their five year relationship backwards, from awkward reunion to lovelorn first encounter. And, at the heart of the book, a 24-year old young woman, Bethany Mellmoth, embarks on a year-long journey of wishful and tentative self-discovery.The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth depicts the random encounters that bring the past bubbling to the surface; the impulsive decisions that irrevocably shape a life; and the endless hesitations and loss-of-nerve that wickedly complicate it. These funny, surprising and moving stories are a resounding confirmation of Boyd's powers as one of our most original and compelling storytellers.
In the small African republic of Kinjanja, British diplomat Morgan Leafy bumbles heavily through his job. His love of women, his fondness for drink, and his loathing for the country prove formidable obstacles on his road to any kind of success. But when he becomes an operative in Operation Kingpin and is charged with monitoring the front runner in Kinjanjayes'>#8217;s national elections, Morgan senses an opportunity to achieve real professional recognition and, more importantly, reassignment.After he finds himself being blackmailed, diagnosed with a venereal disease, attempting bribery, and confounded with a dead body, Morgan realizes that very little is going according to plan.From the Trade Paperback edition.