ISBN 10: 0141049871 / ISBN 13: 9780141049878
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Inhaltsangabe: "Mr Chartwell" by Rebecca Hunt was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and shortlisted for the Galaxy National Book Awards New Writer of the Year. July, 1964. At home in Kent Winston Churchill wakes to a visitor: someone he hasn't seen for a while, a dark, mute bulk, watching him. It's Mr Chartwell. In Battersea, Esther Hammerhans, young, vulnerable and alone, answers the door to her new lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette. It's Mr Chartwell. Mr Chartwell is a large, black dog. He is charismatic and dangerously seductive, but as their lives are slowly drawn together, can Esther and Winston withstand his strange, powerful charms and strong hold? For Mr Chartwell's motives are far darker and deeper than they seem. "Charming, funny, moving, finely crafted and engagingly evocative". ("Independent"). "Charming, original, rewarding, entertaining". ("Financial Times"). "Brilliantly original and thought-provoking. Hunt tackles a serious topic with humour and intelligence". ("Sunday Express"). Rebecca Hunt graduated from Central Saint Martins College with a first class honours degree in fine art. She lives and works in London. Her first novel, "Mr Chartwell", was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and shortlisted for the Galaxy National Book Awards New Writer of the Year.

Rezension: A Letter from Author Rebecca Hunt

© Angus Muir
The central premise of Mr. Chartwell is that Winston Churchill?s ?black dog? of depression is imagined as an independent character, free to walk, talk, and stalk others as he did with Churchill. The book follows the charismatic but menacing black dog--called Mr. Chartwell, but known as Black Pat by his closer acquaintances--as he weaves his devious influence into the lives of Churchill and Esther Hammerhans, a young widow. In different ways, both Esther and Churchill are approaching the end of deeply significant relationships, and the dog arrives to plague them as they face their challenges.

Depression is an intensely personal affliction, and I felt personifying it as Black Pat provided me with an opportunity to translate the emotions of the characters affected by his presence as dialogue, engaging them in conversation about their situations. It may be an unusual way to broach such a difficult topic, but I was immediately struck by the possibilities this opened up to me. There is no such thing as a definitive description of depression, I believe it varies with the individual, but I wanted to create a version of depression which was honest and true to my personal understanding of it. Using the dark and dynamic character of Mr. Chartwell gave me a vehicle to explore Churchill and Esther?s circumstances in greater detail, and in many ways, with a more accessible expression of the sensitivity I felt towards the subject and characters.

I was also struck by how perfectly the ?black dog? description can be used to capture the nature of depression. It takes the typical characteristics of a dog--the loyalty and attachment, along with the predatory and instinctual aspects--and converts them into something corruptive. This dog takes the image of man?s best friend and reverses it, becoming a jealously devoted companion who works against you from within you. However, for all this, Mr Chartwell isn?t just a book about depression. It is equally about redemption, courage and love. And, for me, it is predominantly and most importantly about hope.

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