Alan Hollinghurst with Razia Iqbal

Alan Hollinghurst with Razia Iqbal

19.00 – 20.30 Sunday 12th November

Alan Hollinghurst in conversation with Razia Iqbal

‘Today’s outing was to Dulwich, to see the picture gallery. She had been there, unrememberingly, before, when she was small enough to ride in a backpack, little ranee on a jogging elephant, her view of the paintings relieved by the back of her father’s neck. Though he said ‘Look!’ from time to time they had gone there entirely for his own pleasure.’

In this short extract from new novel The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst we are introduced to Johnny Sparsholt, son of David. The latter’s Olympian god-like life has been blighted by a notorious fall from grace. The novel spans seventy years from Oxford in 1940 to London in 2010, and at the heart of the narrative – only obliquely referenced – is the Sexual Offences Act of 1967.

Hollinghurst, possibly the greatest contemporary British stylist, examines the effect of prohibition on humans, and above all the harm caused by legislation restricting the right to love between consenting adults. He portrays myriad outcomes, from blended families, firm friendships, professional success and enduring love to shame, loss, damage, concealment and misrepresentation. The contemporary art world provides the backdrop to this complex, satisfying and important novel from the author of the Man Booker Prize winning The Line of Beauty.

Hear him discuss his latest novel and a career in books with BBC Arts journalist Razia Iqbal.


PLEASE NOTE: This event will be preceded by a Dulwich Books Introduces slot with poet and forager Richard Osmond. Richard will be reading poetry from his debut collection Useful Verses, which won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2017.

19.00 Richard Osmond

19.20 Alan Hollinghurst in conversation with Razia Iqbal


Venue: The Great Hall, Dulwich College
Price: £15 or £30 including a copy of The Sparsholt Affair (RRP £20)