'I'm embarrassed to say this, James,' he murmured, 'but you're probably going to write my life. I know how presumptuous it sounds - and vain, and so on - but I really do think that's what you will end up doing. I've had rather an exotic life, actually, and I don't believe you'll be bored.' A chance encounter in a local store leads a writer to undertake to record the life of his neighbour, the enigmatic Raymond Jemingham Jebb; 'Jayjay' to his friends, self-styled imposter and lover. From the terrace of his Tuscan villa Jayjay offers him a biographer's dream: a no-holds barred account of a life lived in pursuit of the thrill of endless possibility. Jayjay recounts in tantalizing detail his journey from the foggy, gas-lit streets of southeast London to life in colonial Egypt. Successive exploits lead him back from the Suez of the 1930s, with its flop houses, shady backstreet cafes and burgeoning trade in pornographic images, to Alexandria in the heady months leading to the outbreak of the Second World War. As the months go by and their relationship evolves, the writer comes to question Jayjay's seeming candour and his own role as interpreter and evaluator of another man's life.
Finally, as the layers of his constructed identity are uncovered, Jayjay comes to reveal the true nature of his love.
Publisher: Granta Books
Weight: 614 g
Dimensions: 241 x 162 x 32 mm