Paper $17.00 ISBN: 9780226186894 Published November 2014 Not for sale in the British Commonwealth except Canada
E-book $17.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226186924 Published November 2014 Not for sale in the British Commonwealth except Canada

Afternoon Men

A Novel

Anthony Powell

Anthony Powell

With a new Foreword by Ed Park
240 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 2014
Paper $17.00 ISBN: 9780226186894 Published November 2014 Not for sale in the British Commonwealth except Canada
E-book $17.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226186924 Published November 2014 Not for sale in the British Commonwealth except Canada
Written from a vantage point both high and deliberately narrow, the early novels of the late British master Anthony Powell nevertheless deal in the universal themes that would become a substantial part of his oeuvre: pride, greed, and the strange drivers of human behavior.
More explorations of relationships and vanity than plot-driven narratives, Powell’s early works reveal the stirrings of the unequaled style, ear for dialogue, and eye for irony that would reach their caustic peak in his epic, A Dance to the Music of Time.

In Afternoon Men, the earliest and perhaps most acid of Powell’s novels, we meet the museum clerk William Atwater, a young man stymied in both his professional and romantic endeavors. Immersed in Atwater’s coterie of acquaintances—a similarly unsatisfied cast of rootless, cocktail-swilling London sophisticates—we learn of the conflict between his humdrum work life and louche social scene, of his unrequited love, and, during a trip to the country, of the absurd contrivances of proper manners.

A satire that verges on nihilism and a story touched with sexism and equal doses self-loathing and self-medication, AfternoonMen has a grim edge to it. But its dialogue sparks and its scenes grip, and for aficionados of Powell, this first installment in his literary canon will be a welcome window onto the mind of a great artist learning his craft.
Blake Bailey | Slate
“The funniest novel you’ve never read. . . . Afternoon Men is a revelation to sophisticated readers of every stripe, but especially to a certain kind of artist manqué on the brink of discovering that life is a more difficult business than he ever had reason to expect. . . . The subject matter is ‘relatable,’ as my students like to say. Better still, though, is what you can learn about the craft of writing from this marvelous book. . . . Indeed, if you’re looking for a funny, nonportentous Hemingway, then the early Powell is your man.”
James Wolcott | Vanity Fair
“[A] still-too-little-acknowledged comic masterpiece.”
John Bowen | New York Times
“In its dead-pan comedy and its ultimate despair, Afternoon Men belongs with Cyril Connolly’s The Rock Pool and Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust. These books describe a part of England that no longer exists.”
Times Literary Supplement
“Good entertainment. . . . Powell has a rich fund of irony and humour to support his extravagance and a humorous veracity of observation.”
Elizabeth Janeway | New York Times
“Looking back at Powell’s earlier novels, it is possible to see him discovering there how to use his razor-sharp satirical sense until it is purged of bitterness and extravagance.”
Contents
Foreword

Part I. Montage
Part II. Perihelion
Part III. Palindrome
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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