'Hugely enjoyable, a unique love story that's both witty and poignant.' John Boyne, author of The Heart's Invisible Furies
Arnold Proctor's quiet life is thrown off balance when he falls obsessively in love with Vera, a religious woman and one of his wife's friends. Vera seems untroubled by her wrongdoing, yet faithless Arnold is wracked with guilt. He has never believed in God, but now he wonders if he truly believes in anything at all?
Polly makes handcrafted paper, and even though the age of paper is dead, she runs a successful shop selling her exquisite products. Polly is secure and happy in her life, until the day her husband Arnold makes a very uncharacteristic declaration.
Gerard Woodward's The Paper Lovers is a devastating story of sexual, religious and artistic obsession. It is about love and betrayal, and what becomes of us after our greatest certainties have been shattered.
Gerard Woodward is the author of a number of novels, including Nourishment and an acclaimed trilogy comprising: August (shortlisted for the 2001 Whitbread First Novel Award), I'll Go to Bed at Noon (shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize) and A Curious Earth. He was born in London in 1961, and published several prize-winning collections of poetry before turning to fiction. His collection of poetry, We Were Pedestrians, was shortlisted for the 2005 T. S. Eliot Prize. His most recent poetry collection, The Seacunny, was published in 2012. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.
Beautifully written novel about marital infidelity from a Booker-shortlistee
Sunday Times, Must Reads
The pages all but turn themselves. This is contemporary family drama at its most compelling, and with a brutally exquisite ending.
Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall
Hugely enjoyable, a unique love story that's both witty and poignant.
John Boyne, author of The Heart's Invisible Furies
What really makes this book so impressive and enjoyable is the writing, whether it is Woodward's occasional tongue-in-cheek similes or his convincing insights into all manner of things
I couldn't put it down till I was done, and then I wanted to laugh and cry all at once, at the sheer absurdity of being human. An epic novel that should draw comparisons with Greene's The End of the Affair.
Nikita Lalwani, author of The Village
An unsettling tale of passion, faith and identity . . . engrossing
The wry truths that Woodward teases from the ensuing identity crises are universal in their poignancy
Mail on Sunday
A mordantly ironic novel . . . Paper, we're reminded at one point, has an edge, and there are plenty of those to Woodward's discomforting tale
An immensely clever, tense, troubling and satisfying book, with so many little chambers of interest and so many huge issues subtly handled.
Jim Crace, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Harvest
A closely observed allegory of obsession and redemption
Woodward is an agile writer
Gerard Woodward is one of our finest writers . . . he writes with subtlety and skill
The pains and perils of adultery are brilliantly exposed in this haunting novel.
The Times, The 100 best books to read this summer