The World of After

By Stephen Henighan

The World of After
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In a graduate student residence at Oxford University in the early 1990s, Kevin, an Irish Montrealer, meets Leon, a London Jew from a Communist family, and Alex, a Soviet defector’s son brought up in Toronto. When Alex begins to tutor a charming yet troubled upper-class English ... Read more


Overview

In a graduate student residence at Oxford University in the early 1990s, Kevin, an Irish Montrealer, meets Leon, a London Jew from a Communist family, and Alex, a Soviet defector’s son brought up in Toronto. When Alex begins to tutor a charming yet troubled upper-class English undergraduate, the dynamics in their conflicted three-way friendship culminate in Kevin and Leon playing a prank on Alex. The act’s disastrous outcome binds the three young men together emotionally even as it dispatches them on separate courses through the 1990s.

Ranging from a precisely and ironically evoked Oxford, which parodies that of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, to post-Referendum Montreal, war-ravaged former Yugoslavia, London, Moscow, Poland and Berlin, The World of After depicts the 1990s as an interlude of freedom and confused but enriching self-discovery between the rigidity of the Cold War and the stark divisions of the post-September 11, 2001 world. Kevin struggles to find love, recover a friendship he has betrayed and chart a world he no longer understands as Leon dodges his past and Alex descends into a criminal culture that leads to a confrontation with his own values.

Stephen Henighan

Stephen Henighan’s translations have twice been longlist finalists for the Best Translated Book Award and once for the International Dublin Literary Award. Henighan is the author of ten books of fiction, most recently the the short story collection Blue River and Red Earth (2018) and the novel The World of After (2021). 

 

Reviews

“… Charming, with a sweeping but easy prose that evokes the ennui of Oxford as easily as the scars of war-torn Yugoslavia. ”

Justin Warshaw

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