Brilliantly combining tragedy, comedy and savage irony, ‘A Handful of Dust’ captures the irresponsible mood of the ‘crazy and sterile generation’ between the wars. The breakdown of the Last marriage is a painful, comic re-working of Waugh’s own divorce, and a symbol of the disintegration of society.
As Nobel Prize winner Steinbeck chronicles their deeds—their multiple lovers, their wonderful brawls, their Rabelaisian wine-drinking—he spins a tale as compelling and ultimately as touched by sorrow as the famous legends of the Round Table, which inspired him.
Banned for almost thirty years in the UK and US after its original 1934 publication, this is a classic of erotic literature shattering every taboo on its frank, unapologetic portrait of desire. A fictional account of Miller’s adventures amongst the prostitutes, pimps, and penniless painters and writers of underground Paris, Tropic of Cancer is an extravagant and rhapsodic hymn to a world of unrivalled sexuality and freedom.