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.
Spanning three continents, Bond’s new mission takes an unexpected turn whilst in Africa, forcing him to go ‘solo’ on a trip to America. Boyd comments on his choice of title: ‘In my novel, events conspire to make Bond go off on a self-appointed mission of his own, unannounced and without any authorization – and he’s fully prepared to take the consequences of his audacity.’
In Solo, Boyd returns to classic, literary Bond: James Bond the human being, not James Bond the superagent. Whilst naturally there will be cocktails, cars and women, Boyd will reveal the man behind the icon, from his emotions, quirks and flaws, to his sartorial taste.
Combining all the glamour and excitement of Ian Fleming’s original novels with the masterful storytelling of William Boyd, Solo is a stylish, period novel featuring 007 as a veteran agent at 45. In true Bond style the plot remains under wraps until publication on 26 September 2013.
It is 1939. Eva Delectorskaya is a beautiful 28-year-old Russian émigrée living in Paris. As war breaks out she is recruited for the British Secret Service by Lucas Romer, a mysterious Englishman and under his tutelage she learns to become the perfect spy, to mask her emotions and trust no one, including those she loves most. Since then Eva has carefully rebuilt her life as the very English wife and mother Sally Gilmartin — but once a spy, always a spy. Now she must complete one final assignment. This time though Eva can’t do it alone: she needs her daughter’s help.
Now a major two-part BBC One series starring Hayley Atwell and Charlotte Rampling, directed by Edward Hall (Spooks).
All things pass – is this your philosophy? Is there no room for love in your philosophy of life?
The first play by bestselling author William Boyd, Longing adapts two of Anton Chekhov’s short stories, A Visit to Friends and My Life, to weave a comic tale, at once exotic and familiar.
When Kolia is invited to visit his oldest friends on their Estate in the country he anticipates a pleasant break from Moscow life. But as the comedy of provincial life plays out around him, he finds himself adrift in a miasma of false expectations, missed opportunities, and unspoken passions.
Adaptations of the work of classic Russian playwright Chekhov always have a lasting appeal beyond the life of the production. Drawn from these two short stories, Longing is unique in being a dramatic exploration of a work of Chekhov’s fiction, not simply a new adaptation of one of his plays.
It is 1939. Eva Delectorskaya (Hayley Atwell) is a beautiful 28-year-old Russian émigrée living in Paris. As war breaks out she is recruited for the British Secret Service by Lucas Romer (Rufus Sewell), a mysterious Englishman, and under his tutelage she learns to become the perfect spy, to mask her emotions and trust no one, including those she loves most. Since the war, Eva (Charlotte Rampling in present day) has carefully rebuilt her life as a typically English wife and mother. But once a spy, always a spy. Now she must complete one final assignment, and this time Eva can’t do it alone: she needs her daughter, Ruth’s help (Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery).
Starring: Michael Gambon, Charlotte Rampling, Hayley Atwell, Rufus Sewell and Michelle Dockery.
Winner of BAFTA Best Drama Serial at the BAFTA Television Awards 2011
An adaptation of William Boyd’s best-selling novel, Any Human Heart tells the story of Logan Mountstuart’s long and rackety life, one which spans every decade of the twentieth century, in all its fantastic and humdrum, dangerous and tranquil, tragic and humorous aspects.
The four films follow Logan from his time in Oxford; through literary marketsuccess with the publication of his ‘racy’ novel ‘The Girl Factory’; through numerous affairs and two marriages; one tragic true love; adventures as a spy behind enemy lines; flirtations with Wallis Simpson; encounters with Ernest Hemingway, Ian Fleming, sexual scandal in the New York art scene; destitution in Pimlico; unlikely heroism to a final and perhaps even contented death.
Starring Jim Broadbent, Matthew MacFadyen, Gillian Anderson & Hayley Atwell
Shakespeare’s Sonnets are the most compelling source for an emotional and dramatic journey into the psychology of the man himself. Self-analytical, brutally honest, they are his story told in his own words. Behind the lyrical, beautifully crafted language, a brooding obsession with the ‘Lovely Boy’ and Shakespeare’s extra-marital relationship with a Dark Lady is revealed. The sonnet sequence is his unique meditation on love, sex, mortality and the creative urge, which has tantalised scholars and casual readers alike.
A Waste of Shame is an intense drama about the passionate and destructive love triangle that consumed Shakespere in his troubled middle years adapting some of the most celebrated, sexual, raw, and vitriolic love poems ever written.
Nominated for the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival 2005
1870. Dr. Jamie Dodd has finally succeeded in capturing not one, but two pygmies. He brings them to Scotland with the help of Elena Van den Ende, an adventurous woman who sells wild animals to the zoos of Europe. With his two anthropologist friends, they are certain they have discovered the missing link, which will make them famous. They start examining the pygmy couple from every angle and Jamie gradually discovers that Toko and Likola are just as sensitive and intelligent as any other homo sapiens. His two colleagues strongly reject this idea, seduced by the glory of their discovery. Will Jamie be able to prove they are genuine human beings and not freaks to be shown in a zoo?
Starring Joseph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Hugh Bonneville and Iain Glen
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.
A thrilling, plot-twisting novel from the author of the Richard & Judy bestseller Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year
What is the devastating effect on your life when, through no fault of your own, you lose everything — home, family, friends, job, reputation, passport, money, credit cards, mobile phone — and you can never get them back? This is what happens to a young man called Adam Kindred, one May evening in Chelsea, London, when a freakish series of malign accidents and a split-second decision turns his life upside down for ever.
The police are searching for him. There is a reward for his capture. A hired
killer is stalking him. He is alone and anonymous in the huge, pitiless modern city. Adam has nowhere to go but down — underground. He decides to join that vast army of the disappeared and the missing that throng the lowest level of London’s population as he tries to figure out what to do with his life and struggles to understand the forces that have made it unravel so spectacularly. His quest will take him all along the River Thames, from affluent Chelsea to the sink estates of the East End, and on the way he encounters all manner of London’s denizens — aristocrats, prostitutes, priests and policewomen amongst them — and version after new version of himself.
Ordinary Thunderstorms, William Boyd’s electric follow-up to Costa Novel of the Year Restless is a heart-in-mouth conspiracy novel about the fragility of social identity, the scandal of big business, and the secrets that lie hidden in the filthy underbelly of every city.
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 which can be seen either as straight art biography or as fiction. It is an investigation of the blurry line between the invented and the authentic, the wholly false and the utterly real.
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 andBrazzaville Beach is a must-read for any lover of the short story. Some of the stories have previously been published in On the Yankee Station and in The Destiny of Nathalie ‘X’.