Published 15 May 2014
Length 147 pages
Hearts of Gold
Tales of America, adultery, football, incest, love, paranoia, sadism and Zionism....
Wickedly funny these stories may be, but heartless they are not. Disturbing images abound; like the loving family that feasts upon living butterflies; and other images that connect the themes with places deeper than the mind.
The narrators are an extraordinary group: a berserk psychiatrist, a giraffe, a man with an invisible creature on his back, a Jewish private eye, a communist with a bowel fixation, and various other disillusioned souls. None the less, each story is lucid, concisely written and has a strong sense of location.
In The Promised Land a diaspora Jew travels to Israel determined to plant his seed, only to find himself excluded from his erotic paradise. In Le Docteur Enchaîné, a London psychiatrist decides that he can only find satisfaction with a dumb woman and takes the remedy into his own hands. In The Luftmensh, Joshua Smolinsky, trailing a missing writer to New Orleans, becomes involved with ghosts from American and Jewish history. In A Moment of Happiness a Czech hypochondriac manipulates two tourists into providing him with ‘that single 1/60th of a second when I am not afraid’....
Clive Sinclair has created a wryly alluring world in which the neurotics, the outsiders, become the spokesmen best equipped to deal with the hardness at its core. Like the surprising artichoke in the title piece, his stories have hearts of gold.
“I found Hearts of Gold quite wonderful ... And all this despite my immense dislike for football, cunts and national movements of any kind. So it had to be a very good book ... and it was.”
Sir Angus Wilson
“Evil, entertaining little fictions... Clive Sinclair is fluent, inventive, linguistically gifted”
Victoria Glendinning, Sunday Times
“Extremely sexy, wry, likeable, tortured, these stories crackle with talent”
Jacky Gillott, The Times
“Fireworks of all kinds explode in Clive Sinclair’s first collection of short stories .... Hearts of Gold is remarkable”
John Mellors, Listener
About Clive Sinclair
Clive Sinclair is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and holds a doctorate from the University of East Anglia. He has taught there and also at the University of Uppsala, and the University of California at Santa Cruz, where his son was born. In 1983 he was selected as one of the original Best of Young British Novelists. He lives in London with the artist, Haidee Becker.