The new novel from Booker Prize-shortlisted Philip Hensher is his most ambitious and daring novel yet.
An astonishing novel, The Emperor Waltz draws together various narrative strands into a compelling symphonic whole.
In a third-century desert settlement on the fringes of the Roman Empire, a new wife becomes fascinated by a cult that is persecuted by the Emperor Diocletian. In 1922, Christian, a young artist, travels to Weimar to begin his studies at the Bauhaus, where the avant-garde confronts conservative elements around it. With postwar Germany in turmoil, while the Bauhaus attempts to explore radical ways of thinking and living, Christian finds that love will change him for ever. And in 1970s London Duncan uses his inheritance to establish the country’s first gay bookshop in the face of opposition from the neighbours and victimisation by the police.
Delving deep into the human spirit to explore connections between love, sanctity, commitment and virtue, Philip Hensher takes as his subject small groups of men and women, tightly bound together, trying to change the world through the example of their lives. The Emperor Waltz is an absorbing echo-chamber of a novel, innovative and compelling, that explores what it means for us to belong to each other.
To celebrate publication, we’re giving away six signed copies on Goodreads. Click on the link below to enter.
The Emperor Waltz is out on the 3rd July.