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Charlotte Mendelson - Wife | Tuesday 10 September, 6.30pm

Charlotte Mendelson - Wife | Tuesday 10 September, 6.30pm

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Join us for an evening with award-winning novelist Charlotte Mendelson, as she discusses her new novel, Wife.

PRE-ORDER your copy of the book (published 8 August) here


When Zoe moves in with Penny, their relationship looks perfect; after all, everyone wants a wife, don’t they? But this is the story of how love can become a disaster.

Zoe Stamper, junior researcher in Ancient Greek Tragedy, meets fellow academic Dr Penny Cartwright at a faculty flute recital. Dr Cartwright seems impossibly glamorous to Zoe, who is, after all, several rungs down the academic pecking order – and a nervous ingénue as far as Penny’s sophisticated circle is concerned. But Penny leaves Zoe a cryptic note, and a passionate affair ensues. Once Penny confesses all to her live-in lover, Justine, her and Zoe’s happiness seems assured. But there is something else Penny needs as badly in her life as Zoe’s adoration, and thus the beginning of their affair might also have signalled its end.

Wife is an acutely observed and coruscating novel about the joys of passionate love and motherhood, and those left behind in its wake when passion curdles. It is heartbreaking and funny, profound and gripping, as it takes the reader from the end of a relationship to its beginning, and back again.


Charlotte Mendelson’s previous novel, The Exhibitionist, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and was The Times’ novel of the Year 2022, as well as a book of the year in, among others, The Guardian and Good Housekeeping. Her other novels include Almost English, which was longlisted for both the Man Booker and the Women’s Prize for Fiction; When We Were Bad, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction and was a book of the year in The Observer, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The New Statesman and The Spectator; and Daughters of Jerusalem, which won both the Somerset Maugham Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Wife is her sixth novel.

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