The Man in the Wooden Hat (Old Filth Trilogy)

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Product Description Second in the Old Filth trilogy. “An astute, subtle depiction of marriage . . . absolutely wonderful” (The Washington Post).Acclaimed as Jane Gardam’s masterpiece, Old Filth is a lyrical novel that recalls the fully lived life of Sir Edward Feathers. The Man in the Wooden Hat is the history of his marriage told from the perspective of his wife, Betty, a character as vivid and enchanting as Filth himself.They met in Hong Kong after the war. Betty had spent the duration in a Japanese internment camp. Filth was already a successful barrister, handsome, fast becoming rich, in need of a wife but unaccustomed to romance. A perfect English couple of the late 1940s.As a portrait of a marriage, with all the bittersweet secrets and surprising fulfillment of the fifty-year union of two remarkable people, The Man in the Wooden Hat is a triumph. Fiction of a very high order from a great novelist working at the pinnacle of her considerable power, it will be read and loved and recommended by all the many thousands of readers who found its predecessor, Old Filth, so compelling and thoroughly satisfying.“Funny and affecting . . . It’s remarkable.”―The New York Times Book Review“The latest occasion to celebrate Gardam . . . [a] superb novel.”―Maureen Corrigan, NPR“Told with quintessentially British humor . . . Gardam’s prose is witty and precise.”―Publishers Weekly (starred review)“It’s magnificent. . . . Funny, intelligent and immensely moving.”―Kirkus Reviews From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. Octogenarian Gardam's latest, told with quintessentially British humor, bookends the two-time Whitbread winner's earlier novel, Old Filth, about a barrister who becomes a renowned lawyer in the Far East whose nickname, Filth, speaks volumes: failed in London, try Hong Kong. This book concentrates on the courtship and marriage of Filth and his wife, Betty, and then flits across the years to their final days, revealing a backstory of secret trysts and desires that each concealed from the other during their long, childless marriage. Filth and Betty's early days in Hong Kong tingle with the weight of the past: Betty spent the war starving in a Japanese internment camp in Shanghai; Filth talks in his sleep in the passionate Malay of his childhood. The supporting characters in their steamy, crowded world are a bizarre lot (a card-flinging Chinese dwarf among them). Gardam's prose is witty and precise, and the hole in the middle of the story is obviously to be filled by reading (or rereading) Old Filth. (Nov.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. About the Author Jane Gardam has twice won the Whitbread Award, for The Hollow Land, and Queen of the Tambourine. She is also the author of God on the Rocks, which was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and most recently, Faith Fox. From The Washington Post From The Washington Post's Book World/ Reviewed by Jonathan Yardley P eople lucky enough to have read Jane Gardam's previous novel, "Old Filth" (2006), will know that the nickname of its title character refers not to his state of cleanliness but to his youth. Many years in the past, Edward Feathers moved from England to the Far East in the hope of making his fortune. Old Filth is "an acronym for Failed in London Try Hong Kong." Try it he did, and made a great success of it. "A thoroughly good, nice man, diligent and clever," he rose steadily through Hong Kong legal circles, eventually achieving a prominent judgeship, a knighthood and, along the way, a wife. It was his story that Gardam told in "Old Filth," and it is the wife's that she tells in "The Man in the Wooden Hat." Taken together, the two are a British equivalent of Evan S. Connell's classics of Americana, "Mrs. Bridge" and "Mr. Bridge." Connell's novels take place in Kansas City during the 1930s, while Gardam's are set in and around Hong Kong in the last days of empire, though each begins and


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