The Partnership by Barry Unsworth

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Booker Prize-winning author Barry Unsworth's first novel, published for the first time in the United States.

Foley and Moss are partners in a successful small business, making plaster pixies for the tourist trade. Foley is the artistic member of the partnership; he thinks up the ideas and designs and has pretensions to even greater artistry in his cherub lamps and fixtures. Moss, the seemingly quiet one who supplied the capital for the venture, manufactures them. Barry Unsworth sets his scene magnificently—a Cornish village, Lanruan, thriving on specious tourism, and its local characters: Graham, the primitive painter; Bailey, the loud-mouthed Northerner who comes to Lanruan to make his fortune; Barbara, the nearest thing the village possesses to a bad girl; and above all Gwendoline, who, inadvertently, begins the rift in the partnership between Foley and Moss. The Partnership is a disquieting, darkly funny tale about hidden desires and the unspoken attachments we have for one another.

About Barry Unsworth

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Barry Unsworth was born in Wingate, England on August 10, 1930. He received an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Manchester in 1951. He started out writing short stories, but soon switched to novels. His first novel, The Partnership, was published in 1966. He wrote 17 novels during his lifetime including Stone Virgin, Losing Nelson, The Songs of the Kings, Land of Marvels, and The Quality of Mercy. Sacred Hunger won a Booker Prize in 1992. Morality Play and Pascali's Island were both made into feature films. He died from lung cancer on June 5, 2012 at the age of 81.
Published September 17, 1992 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson History. 226 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Foley and Moss are partners in a firm that specializes in producing pixies for the tourist trade in a Cornish town called Lanruan.

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The New York Times

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Consider the moment when, staring in the mirror, Foley realizes that Moss is homosexual: ''At about the time he had lowered his eyes from his reflection it had come to Foley with irresistible force that Moss was kinky, was in fact, not to put too fine a point on it, a pervert.'' The very words te...

Aug 12 2001 | Read Full Review of The Partnership

Publishers Weekly

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But when Moss meets Max, the aging kept man of a famous actor, he is emboldened by Max's flamboyance to confront his own sexuality and reexamine his partnership with Foley.

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