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Victoria Thompson’s City of Longing
Posted by Byron Movement on 2013-01-11 14:38:04.0

Byron based author Victoria Thompson has published a new book: City of Longing. From the author of the best selling memoir Losing Alexandria, CITY OF LONGING is a moving love story, steeped in longing, conflict and desire. “The betrayal of one’s friends is a bagatelle in the stakes of love, but the betrayal of oneself is lifelong regret,” Tom Stoppard wrote in The Invention of Love — and it is this regret that compels a man to search for the woman who will help him.

He is mysterious and immensely wealthy, a banker. She is his apparent opposite, creative and idealistic. But she too is lost and unhappy. They are separated by oceans and continents and much more. Despite their seeming differences, they fall in love. They arrange to meet in New York. Afterwards they will fly to London and from there to Paris, his suite at The Ritz, and to his château in the South of France. But there are many surprises ahead, especially for the woman whose journey leads her to Morocco and finally to the Swiss Alps where she finds the answers she has been looking for.

This unconventional love story incorporates a contemporary backdrop of many elements — conspicuous wealth and globalisation; the harm and suffering caused by the politics of medicine; the world of art, myth and literature; the power of places and the ecstasy and agony of falling in love. Thompson’s writing is beautiful: a blend of sensual and intellectual, strewn with literacy, political and historical references.

(Victoria Cosford, Byron Bay Echo) City of Longing is an exquisitely woven tale of love and loss, and if Thompson is playing her cards close to her chest, one can only hope that she is also keeping her beloved Cavafy’s words close to her heart: ‘Above all, don’t fool yourself, don’t say it was a dream…’ (J S Breukelaar) City of Longing is a deeply romantic love story, but it’s also much more – a meditation on literature, history, animal rights, human kindness, the politics of modern medicine, the world of Art, bankers and globalisation – and the ramifications of the personal choices we make.

(Tracey Mair) I love the book: it’s gorgeous, lyrical, haunting, elegant, spare. (Jeni Caffin, former Director Byron Bay Writers’ Festival) Victoria Thompson was born in Alexandria, Egypt, of French, Italian, Spanish and English parentage. She grew up speaking five languages and was educated at The Sacred Heart British Girl’s Convent. Her parents left Egypt after King Farouk was exiled. Victoria trained as an actress and worked in film, television and theatre. She left acting to study psychology and became a psychotherapist. She eventually gave it up to return to her love of books and writing.

Her memoir, Losing Alexandria (Picador), was a literary success, appearing for several weeks on the Melbourne Age best-seller list. Victoria has also worked as an interpreter in the medical profession and has travelled to Japan, China, Russia, India and the Himalayas, England, Europe and America. She has been an animal rights activist for many years, helping to close down 99% of the fur shops in Sydney. She is also a member of an independent advocacy organization committed to holding politicians accountable on important issues.

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