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'Among the hottest books of this blazing summer' (Daily Telegraph): a bold, lushly written novel that will compel and disquiet in equal measure

About the Author

Sofka Zinovieff was born in London. She studied social anthropology at Cambridge, then lived in Greece and Moscow. She is the acclaimed author of three works of non-fiction, Eurydice Street: A Place in Athens, Red Princess: A Revolutionary Life and The Mad Boy, Lord Berners, My Grandmother and Me, a New York Times Editors' Choice 2015, and one previous novel, The House on Paradise Street. Her writing has appeared in publications including the Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times, the Times Literary Supplement, the Spectator and the Independent. She divides her time between Athens and England. sofkazinovieff.com


Certain books worm their way into your soul, grabbing you from the opening paragraph and holding you in their grip until the final page has been turned. Sofka Zinovieff's Putney is just such a book, compelling the reader from its atmospheric opening until its bruising, bittersweet end -- Sarah Hughes * i *
Smart and gripping -- Alex Preston * Observer, Books of the Year *
Among the hottest books of this blazing summer -- Allison Pearson * Daily Telegraph *
Accomplished, timely and unusually well-wrought -- Sarah Moss * Guardian *
Zinovieff handles this difficult subject with control, insight, wisdom and sympathy ... For anyone who came of age in that era, this can be an uncomfortable read, as well as an utterly fascinating one. I think it's the best novel of 2018, by far -- Cressida Connolly * Spectator, Books of the Year 2018 *
Sofka Zinovieff writes about this moral minefield with the necessary sensitivity, inhabiting her characters so convincingly that the conclusion is all the more chilling -- Kate Saunders * The Times *
Delves deep into the discussions surrounding consent and abuse of power. Zinovieff has written a contemporary Lolita in which the rules of engagement have changed, women are speaking out about the ways they have been misused and the Humbert Humberts face prosecution and disgrace ... Zinovieff is skilled at evoking the shifting moral and social terrain ... Richly drawn and convincingly realised * Observer *
This superb novel from the highly regarded Zinovieff dissects every moral ambiguity ... Zinovieff twists the reader's sympathy to and fro, until the final revelation. Over and above the central subject, this is a finely nuanced study of the way different people make subjective sense of the past, and a reminder that the novel (like the analyst's couch) is a great space for thinking about the unthinkable * Sunday Times *
Zinovieff's dark and disturbing novel delicately probes the lines between abuse and consent in this atmospheric, intelligent and ambiguous story * i, 30 best books to take on holiday in summer 2018 *
Unputdownable: a modern classic * The Lady *
A disturbing, well-structured, nuanced story that provides no simple answers - an important addition to an urgent, current conversation * Financial Times *
Involving, beautifully written, and subtle ... There are terribly difficult questions here, dealt with sensitively and intelligently * Spectator *
Lolita for the age of #MeToo ... It delves deep into the discussions surrounding consent and abuse of power ... Zinovieff is skilled at evoking the shifting moral and social terrain while never letting us forget that none of that can be an excuse ... the two main players are richly drawn, the strange, sad bond that exists between them convincingly realised * Observer *
I read this greedily over the course of a day ... On obsession, abuse and atonement via three memory threads with complex and provocative consequences. A powerful - and timely - examination of desire and permission, innocence versus experience. "All children liked secrets, didn't they..?" -- Laura Bailey * Vogue *
Zinovieff writes with poise and sophistication * Times Literary Supplement *
The ultimate taboo brought to life in a way that's thrillingly disturbing and evocative. I couldn't leave it * Mary Portas *
This is a really important book. I loved it. Thought provoking, emotionally complex, and tackling the topic of the day - the blurred area between consent and abuse -- Esther Freud
This book is truly memorable and thought-provoking; throughout, Zinovieff sustains wonderfully perplexing and complex ambiguities. What is love, and what is exploitation? What is truth and what is self-deception? What is righteousness and what is hypocrisy? Can contradictions be simultaneously true? It's a great story and a riveting read. I'll remember the characters forever -- Louis de Bernieres
I read it at one go, unable to put it down, until 2am ... It's remarkable, a brilliant novel, jolting and shocking and right -- Michele Roberts
Superb ... It is really something. Zinovieff treats the tricky subject with admirable dispassion -- Piers Paul Read
I read this novel with huge enjoyment ... It is a terrific novel and I look forward to reading it many more times * The Oldie *
The reader is as deftly manipulated as the child. Pacy and illuminating * The Week *

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