Format Hardcover
Publication Date 04/13/10
ISBN 9781605980867
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.4 in / 352

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Ask Alice

A Novel

D. J. Taylor

A literary tour-de-force ranging from the American frontier to Edwardian England and the decadent carousing of the Bright Young People of London's jazz age.

1904. A pretty young woman travels apprehensively across the American prairies; on a whim she makes a bold decision, grabbing her future with both hands.

A quarter of a century later, in the brightly colored world of London high life, Alice Keach is queen among society hostesses. Her face stares from every gossip column. Behind her lie a marriage to a wealthy landowner and a career as a celebrated actress. But Alice has a secret, whose roots run five thousand miles away to that Kansas train ride, and a chain of connection with the potential to blow her comfortable existence apart. Ranging from the Dakota Badlands to the drawing rooms of Mayfair and the casting couches of the Edwardian theater, Ask Alice is a remarkable novel that confirms D. J. Taylor as a writer of the highest intellect, vision, and imagination.

D. J. Taylor is a novelist, critic ,and biographer whose Orwell won the Whitbread Prize for Biography. His most recent books are Kept; Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation; Ask Alice; and Derby Day, which was nominated for the Booker Prize and was selected as a Washington Post Best Book of the Year.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“Taylor traverses turn-of-the-20th-century Kansas and the sparkling social circles of Jazz Age London in this swirl of provocative prose and cleverly conceived characters.... As Alice's life begins to unravel and the stories begin to connect, the narrative takes on the urgency of a finely crafted mystery. The novel is absorbing, wonderfully atmospheric, and loaded with intrigue; it's a wonder Taylor isn't better known.” Publishers Weekly
“A clever, stylish entertainment with dark undercurrents.... The book has all the makings of Victorian high drama—a slew of colorful characters, vivid and varied scenes, precipitous changes in fortune, and inescapable revelations of long-buried secrets.” Atlantic Monthly
“A great read. It intrigues, diverts, and delights.” Susan Hill The Guardian
“Taylor effectively captures the sense of social upheaval that characterized the 1920s.” The Spectator
“D. J. Taylor is remarkably under-appreciated as a novelist.” Daily Telegraph
“A page-turner of the highest order. A powerful contribution to the changing practice of historical fiction.” Philippa Gregory The Times [London]