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