Kid Gloves: A Voyage Round My Father by Adam Mars-Jones - review by Richard Canning

Richard Canning

Growing up in Gray’s Inn

Kid Gloves: A Voyage Round My Father

By

Particular Books 274pp £16.99 order from our bookshop
 

Adam Mars-Jones first made his reputation as a fiction writer, beginning in 1981 with the short-story collection Lantern Lecture, which won a Somerset Maugham Award. In 1987 The Darker Proof, a collection cowritten with Edmund White, contained Mars-Jones’s story ‘Slim’, one of the first British literary responses to AIDS. His recent novels include Pilcrow and Cedilla, the first two volumes of a projected fictional trilogy; running across 1,300 pages, they comprise the imaginary memoirs of John Cromer, a disabled, gay young man growing up in 1950s England. The author is also renowned as one of our sharpest critics, deservedly pocketing the 2012 Hatchet Job of the Year Award for a merciless and very funny savaging of a Michael Cunningham novel.

The wry, idiosyncratic commentary and self-reflection of the Cromer novels marked out a new style for Mars-Jones, and equally a greater ambition. All of these qualities find their place in Kid Gloves, his most remarkable book to date, which is in turns knowing and dextrous, hilarious and poignant. Kid Gloves

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter