(South African, 1933– )
Justin Cartwright was born in South Africa, and educated there, in the United States, and at Oxford. A documentary film-maker and travel writer, Cartwright is best known for his subtly comic and often satirical novels. Look at It This Way (1990), a story about a City broker eaten by an escaped lion in central London, is a good starting-point. In Every Face I Meet (1995) is a layered account of a single day in the life of Anthony Northleach, whose activities are counterpointed with the news of Nelson Mandela's release from prison. A portrait of a city, of a historic moment, and of an individual consciousness, the book was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1995. Leading the Cheers (1998), a comedy set at a school reunion in Michigan, is one of Cartwright's sharpest books, and shows his outsider's eye on social and political nuances at its most clearly focused. Interior (1988), set in 1959 in South and West Africa, tells the story of a journalist's search for the truth behind his father's disappearance.
William Boyd, Christopher Hope WB