Pagan and her Parents: Reviews

‘An amazing novel.  An explosive subject and a literary triumph, as the new world pits itself against the old, and wins.’
Fay Weldon

‘A tale of our times… brilliantly illuminated by Arditti, who uses his pen like the brush of a pointillist for his effects, the children being especially real.’
Anthony Blond, Attitude  

‘The questions Arditti tackles are burning and central. I honestly couldn’t put the book down.’ 
Laura Tennant, Literary Review

‘Arditti has skilfully crafted a compelling novel, ably interweaving seemingly insignificant events and asides into the final denouement, and has created in Leo a charming likeable hero.  The scenes with Leo and Pagan are both funny and touching.’
Fiona Morrow, Time Out 

‘Pagan and her Parents is one of those rare things:  a page-turner of a novel with a strong political heart.’
Tim Teeman, The Pink Paper

A ‘novel whose shining virtue is its undemonstrative moral cleanliness.  It should be required reading wherever the nuclear family is smallmindedly lauded as the one true ideal.  Unputdownable.’
Jasper Rees, The Times

‘A passionate case for the homosexual’s right to love and to be loved.  Arditti is unusually deft in his manipulation of the way a narrative unfolds.’
Miranda Seymour, Independent

‘Arditti is a literary Hogarth, savaging modern England on many levels.  Like Hogarth, Arditti is a moralist.  He never accepts the conventional values of the patriarchs but looks to a new extended family where love is more than ‘just a spurt’ and a little girl has the right to call a gay man ‘Daddy’.  An astonishingly intelligent, funny and touching book.’
Julia Pascal, Scotsman

‘In a fast-moving, highly-charged emotional thriller, Arditti explores current Anglo-Saxon attitudes to homosexuality, single-parent upbringing and ‘traditional’ family values without ever losing sight of the individual upon whom such attitudes are brought to bear.  An enthralling and touching tale.’
Jon Hartridge, Oxford Times

‘Michael Arditti writes exactly like Dickens… displaying a commitment to human values and the value of humans that is unfashionably fierce and doubly welcome for it.  He demands participation from the reader in an era of detachment.  This is an intelligent novel of feeling in the modern style.’
Peter Arnott, Scotland on Sunday

‘Caustically funny… a wonderful and completely unsentimental evocation of a small girl.  Arditti twists and wrests language like a craftsman.  Altogether this novel is extraordinarily moving, involving, intelligent and humane – I feel the better for having read it.’
Lesley Glaister, Yorkshire Post

‘A gallant plunge into the swirling whirlpool of ignorance and knowledge, possession and loss, that constitutes the age of innocence in the late 20th century.  Around the sensational central tale of the custody battle, Arditti weaves a subtle and complex reflection on the wider nature of love and attachment, and what happens to those private qualities when they are exposed to the public scrutiny of the media, the judicial system, the police and social services.  In the end, he reminds us, both love and innocence are more durable than our anxious era might lead us to believe.’
Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph

‘Arditti writes exceedingly well and with resonance and he traces the ever-evolving relationship between Leo and Pagan with skill and genuine feeling.’
Publisher’s Weekly (US)

‘Pagan and Her Parents is an unexpectedly tender book.  Gripping and beautifully written.’
Albert Read, Catholic Herald

‘A timely plea for men to be allowed greater involvement in the upbringing of their children.  The novel raises many uncomfortable questions.  A Kramer versus Kramer for the nineties.’    

‘A moving novel about the survival of a modern family in the grip of death and the dead hand of convention… Arditti’s graceful prose.’
New Yorker

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