Author(s): Javier Marias
"All Souls" is a compelling black comedy of Oxford life by Javier Marias, whose highly-anticipated new novel "The Infatuations" is published in 2013. This Penguin Modern Classics edition features a new Introduction by John Banville, author of "The Sea". The pretty young tutor Clare Bayes attracts many eyes at an Oxford college dinner, not least those of a visiting Spanish lecturer (desperate to escape his conversation with an obese economist about an eighteenth-century cider tax). As they begin an affair, meeting in hotel bedrooms away from the eyes of Clare's husband, the Spaniard finds himself increasingly drawn into the strange world of Oxford, 'one of the cities in the world where the least work gets done', in a story of lust, loneliness, vanity and memory. Filled with brilliant set pieces and pin-sharp observation, "All Souls" is a masterpiece of black humour.
Probably the wittiest novel set in British academia since David Lodge's Changing Places Daily Mail An intelligent and well written book with exceptionally funny set pieces The Indepdent on Sunday
Javier Marias was born in Madrid in 1951. He has published ten novels, two collections of short stories and several volumes of essays. His work has been translated into thirty-two languages and won a dazzling array of international literary awards, including the prestigious Dublin IMPAC award for A Heart So White. He is also a highly practised translator into Spanish of English authors, including Joseph Conrad, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Thomas Browne and Laurence Sterne. He has held academic posts in Spain, the United States and in Britain, as Lecturer in Spanish Literature at Oxford University. John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His novels include The Book of Evidence, The Sea, which won the 2005 Man Booker Prize, and The Infinities. He was awarded the Franz Kafka Prize in 2011 and he lives in Dublin.