Author(s): L. P. Hartley
'You'll never be happy until you can think and feel and look like other people...' Jael 97 is an Alpha. Deemed over-privileged for her beauty, she is compelled to report to the Ministry of Facial Justice, where her face will be reconstructed. For Jael lives in the New State, created out of the devastation of the Third World War. Under the rule of the Darling Dictator, citizens must wear sackcloth and ashes, and only a 17.5 per cent quotum of personality is permitted to each. Anything that inspires envy is forbidden. But Jael cannot suppress her rebellious spirit. Secretly, she starts to reassert the rights of the individual, and decides to hunt down the faceless Dictator. "An exquisitely entertaining fantasy". (Observer).
An exquisitely entertaining fantasy Observer The most exciting and exhilarating of Mr Hartley's novels Listener A brilliant projection of tendencies already apparent in the post-war British welfare state ... Hartley was a fine writer with a strong moral sense -- Anthony Burgess Hartley spares us nothing; each horrid detail of this nightmare world is expertly driven home -- Peter Quennell
Leslie Poles Hartley was born in 1895 and educated at Harrow and Balliol College, Oxford. He is best known for Facial Justice, the Eustace and Hilda trilogy and The Go-Between, which won the Heinemann Foundation Prize in 1954 and whose opening sentence has become almost proverbial: 'The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.' He was appointed a CBE in 1955, having won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize as well as the Heinemann. He died in 1972. John Sutherland is emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London. He has edited numerous titles for Penguin Classics and is the author of many works of literary criticism, biography and memoir.