My second novel, The Lessons, was published in 2010. This one was a long old slog! It took me four years to write, though mostly because, when I came to read my first draft I realised I'd have to throw out the first 50,000 words. Sigh. Still, I worked it out in the end.
It's a novel set at Oxford University, among a group of friends - it's about what happens to them while they're there, and in the thrall of the rich and mercurial Mark Winters, and the terrible thing that happens after they leave.
I was a bit pissed off that so many novels about Oxford talk about the beauty and the glamour and the glittering prizes, but not about the vast amount of work and how everyone seems to be having breakdowns all the time. So it's partly about that. And partly it's about money. What having a huge amount of money does to a person. How it can distort friendships and relationships. I've thought of a new title for it, in fact. The Cost of Money. But maybe that would just have sounded like a book about the financial crisis.
This book had some lovely reviews in the UK and some absolutely cracking ones in France - it's funny how that happens, different books appeal to different audiences. Here are a few reviews.
"Alderman is a virtuoso on Oxford: "It is a magician dazzling viewers with bustle and glitter, misdirecting our attention... It is old and it is beautiful and it is grand. And it is unfair and it is narrow and it is cold." A perfect city for ghosts. Which Alderman, with great skill and style, finally lays to rest."
"With cool, crisp aplomb, Alderman charts mercurial Mark's increasingly erratic behaviour, a path to ruination that is waymarked by an unsuitable marriage, a desperate affair and a terrible tragedy."
L'Anglaise, dont il s'agit ici du deuxième roman après La désobéissance(L'Olivier, 2008), épate avec un livre fiévreux et maîtrisé. Ce formidableMauvais genre qui achève d'en faire l'un des auteurs les plus talentueux du moment.