Up Against the Night


Up Against the Night

Justin Cartwright

ISBN 9781408858257


'History . . . is seldom able to convey the essence of being human'

Frank McAllister has become wealthy in England, where he has lived for thirty years. He has a house in Notting Hill, a house in the New Forest, and a house near Cape Town. But more and more he feels alienated in England. As the book opens, he is preparing to go to South Africa with his lover, Nellie. He is also waiting anxiously for his daughter, Lucinda, to arrive from California, where she has been in rehab.

Frank is a descendant of the Boer leader, Piet Retief, who was murdered by the Zulu king Dingane, along with all his followers, in 1838. He has been an icon of Afrikaners ever since.

Frank's Afrikaner cousin, Jaco, has become moderately famous on YouTube for having faced down a huge white shark. He is now in America, where he has joined the Scientologists. His chaotic and violent life spills over on to Frank. He is drawn into a world of violence and delusion that is to threaten the family.

Justin Cartwright possesses that rarest of novelist's skills - the ability to create fiction which is intensely serious but which also vividly encompasses the absurdity and comedy of life.

Up Against the Night is a subtle, brilliant novel about South Africa, its beautiful, superbly evoked landscape, its violent past and its uncertain present.

Justin Cartwright is a descendant of Piet Retief.


The Author


Justin Cartwright's novels include the Booker-shortlisted In Every Face I Meet, the Whitbread Novel Award-winner Leading the Cheers, the acclaimed White Lightning, shortlisted for the 2002 Whitbread Novel Award, The Promise of Happiness, selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club and winner of the 2005 Hawthornden Prize, The Song Before It Is Sung, To Heaven By Water, Other People's Money, winner of the Spears novel of the year and, most recently, the acclaimed Lion Heart. Justin Cartwright was born in South Africa and lives in London. 





Reviews, News & Interviews:



Justin Cartwright is one of our best novelists. The Telegraph


Anybody who wonders whether novelists can keep up with an accelerating world should read Justin Cartwright. [He] consistently captures the zeitgeistThe Independent


One of the finest novelists currently at workThe Guardian