Gripping from the first page, this immense novel is an intoxicating and deeply satisfying read. This is Faber's most ambitious fictional creation yet and will affirm his position as one of the most talented writers working in Britain today. Sugar, an alluring, 19-year-old whore in the brothel of the terrifying Mrs Castaway, yearns for a better life. Her ascent through the strata of 1870s London society offers us intimacy with a host of loveable, maddening and superbly realised characters.
But at the heart, though, of this panoramic, multi-layered narrative is the compelling struggle of a young woman to lift her body and soul out of the gutter. The Crimson Petal and the White is a big, juicy, must-read of a novel that will delight, enthrall, provoke and entertain young and old, male and female.
First published 2002.
Michel Faber's startlingly original novel, Under the Skin, which garnered accolades from around the world, was short-listed for the Whitbread First Novel Award 2000 and nominated for the Dublin Impac award 2002. His award-winning stories and novellas also attract a huge readership. He lives in the Scottish Highlands.