Monday, 13 February 2012

Book of the Week and Bibliography - William Boyd, Waiting for Sunrise

Waiting for Sunrise is William Boyd’s 11th novel. He is an author who has won many accolades, without perhaps achieving the popular recognition of some of his contemporaries. Although Boyd is often considered a Scottish writer, he was actually born in Accra in Ghana. However, he was educated at Gordonstoun School and subsequently attended the University of Glasgow. Boyd has won many literary prizes, though not yet the Booker Prize. I think that Waiting for Sunrise may be an early contender – we will see, but well worth picking up a signed copy from Bloomsbury when they appear.

“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 particularly intimate nature of his neurosis when a young woman enters. She is clearly in distress, but Lysander is immediately drawn to her strange, hazel eyes and her unusual, intense beauty. Her name is Hettie Bull. They begin a passionate love affair and life in Vienna becomes tinged with a powerful frisson of excitement for Lysander. He meets Sigmund Freud in a cafe, begins to write a journal, enjoys secret trysts with Hettie and appears - miraculously - to have been cured. Back in London, 1914. War is imminent, and events in Vienna have caught up with Lysander in the most damaging way. 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, from the battlefields of France to 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 Good Man in Africa; Hamish Hamilton, 1981 - £300 or above in dustwrapper.
On the Yankee Station and Other Stories; Hamish Hamilton, 1981 - £300 or above in dustwrapper.
An Ice-Cream War; Hamish Hamilton, 1982 - around £15 in dustwrapper
Stars and Bars; Hamish Hamilton, 1984 - less than £10 in dustwrapper
School Ties; Hamish Hamilton, 1985 - uncommon.  Over £200 in dustwrapper
The New Confessions; Hamish Hamilton, 1987 -less than £15 in dustwrapper
Brazzaville Beach; Sinclair-Stevenson, 1990 - less than £10 in dustwrapper
The Blue Afternoon; Sinclair-Stevenson, 1993 - less than £10 in dustwrapper
The Destiny of Nathalie 'X' and Other Stories; Sinclair-Stevenson, 1995 - less than £10 in dustwrapper
Armadillo; Hamish Hamilton, 1998 - less then £10 in dustwrapper
Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928-1960; 21 Publishing, 1998 - less than £20 in dustwrapper
Any Human Heart; Hamish Hamilton, 2002 - £50 or above in dustwrapper.
Fascination (collection of short stories); Hamish Hamilton, 2004 - suprisingly uncommon.  Around £25 or above in dustwrapper..
Bamboo; Hamish Hamilton, 2005 (non-fiction) - uncommon. £35 or above in dustwrapper.
Restless; Bloomsbury, 2006 - under £10 in dustwrapper.
The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth (Short Story) Notes from the underground; 2007 - a small paperback single short story. Under £10.
Ordinary Thunderstorms (2009); Bloomsbury, 2009.  Relatively common, but at £35 or above in dustwrapper.  Probably a little overpriced...
Waiting for Sunrise (2012) At cost.

Literary Prizes and Awards

1981 Whitbread First Novel Award A Good Man in Africa
1982 Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist) An Ice-Cream War
1982 Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize An Ice-Cream War
1982 Somerset Maugham Award A Good Man in Africa
1983 Selected as one of the 20 'Best of Young British Novelists' by Granta magazine and the Book Marketing Council
1990 James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction) Brazzaville Beach
1991 McVitie's Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year Brazzaville Beach
1993 Sunday Express Book of the Year The Blue Afternoon
1995 Los Angeles Times Book Prize (Fiction) The Blue Afternoon
2004 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (shortlist) Any Human Heart
2006 Costa Book Award Restless
2007 British Book Awards Richard and Judy Best Read of the Year (shortlist) Restless

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