The Back of His Head

The Back of His Head

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Raymond Thomas Lawrence was one of the great literary colossi to bestride the twentieth century. He turned his upbringing in conservative Canterbury and participation in the Algerian War of Independence into a series of novels that dazzled the world, and eventually won him the Nobel Prize for Literature. Seven years after Lawrence’s death, however, the four trustees of the literary trust set up to memorialise New Zealand’s greatest writer are facing rising costs and dwindling visitor numbers at the Residence.

While fending off a self-appointed biographer, they find themselves confronting the secrets of their own intimate relationships with The Master. ‘But is bumping off biographers really the sort of thing literary trusts do?’ Marjorie creaks. ‘Don’t we just handle copyright?’ The Back of His Head is a hilarious and troubling satire on the making and manipulation of literary fame, by the author of the acclaimed novel Gifted.

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