Author(s): Michael Arditti
Candida Mulliner and Leo Young have been the closest of friends since university, living together but loving separately. When Candida dies after a long illness, she leaves her five-year-old daughter, Pagan, in Leo's care. Candida's adoptive parents are horrified. Opposed to a gay man raising a child, they challenge Leo's guardianship in the courts. As Leo fights for his and Pagan's rights, he finds himself isolated, vilified, and, ultimately, arrested. Meanwhile, he sets out to discover the truth about Candida, the cause of her estrangement from her adoptive parents, the identity of her natural mother, and the reasons for her refusal to name Pagan's father. Michael Arditti's moving, passionate, and provocative novel is a powerful exploration of the nature of parenthood and meaning of family life.
Michael Arditti was born in Cheshire and educated at Jesus College, Cambridge. He began his literary career writing plays, of which several were produced on the stage and the radio. He has written theatre criticism for The Times, The Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Sunday Express, and was, for many years, a regular reviewer for the Evening Standard. He currently reviews books for several papers and is a regular broadcaster on the BBC.
His novel Easter, published in 2000, won the first Waterstone’s Mardi Gras Award and was shortlisted for the Creative Freedom Award. Unity (2005) was shortlisted for the 2006 Wingate / Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize.