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A novel of profound insight about the complexity of human relationships, morality and the transformative power of art, set in New York’s glittering world of galleries and high-end fashion.
Magazine editor Henry Calder’s ordered life has unravelled. He lost his wife, Martha, less than a year ago, and he’s just been ousted from the glamorous job that gave his life meaning. Then he meets Maggie, a rebellious young artist working as a bartender. When Maggie is evicted, Henry offers her a place to stay. But there is something about the young woman and her work that disturbs him, and before long Henry is facing a crisis neither of them could ever have foreseen.
The Benefactor is about art’s power to alter our view of ourselves and our world. It asks how we construct meaning in our lives—and how we react when the foundations we have built our identities upon are knocked out from beneath us.
‘Sebastian Hampson is that rare thing: a writer of ideas who is also compulsively readable.’
‘Sebastian Hampson…writes with an assurance that belies his years. A perceptive and thoughtful love story in the tradition of Brief Encounter, inspired by Hampson’s travels in Europe, the novel is immediately engrossing. The reader is swept along by the fluidity of the writing.’
‘Hampson’s prose superbly renders the atmosphere of summer in Biarritz and winter in Paris. This is a remarkable debut novel, and it will be interesting to see what Hampson comes up with next.’
‘This book will charm and engage.’
‘Hilarious at times, sad too, and sometimes slightly shocking, the story grips from the beginning…The dialogue is sharp, and the changes in himself the young man experiences are both touching and realistic…This is a remarkable and sophisticated piece of writing for a young man in his early 20s. Sebastian Hampson is a writer to keep an eye open for.’
‘Lyrical and elegant.’