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For readers of A Gentleman in Moscow and Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, an ambitious, spellbinding historical novel about sensuality, censorship, and the novel that set off the sexual revolution.

On the glittering shores of the Mediterranean in 1928, a dying author in exile races to complete his final novel. Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a sexually bold love story, a searing indictment of class distinctions, and a study in sensuality. But the author, D. H. Lawrence, knows it will be censored. He publishes it privately, loses his copies to customs, and dies bereft.

Thirty years later, in her last days before becoming first lady, Jackie Kennedy learns that publishers are trying to bring D. H. Lawrence’s long-censored novel to American and British readers in its full form. The government has responded by taking the book to court. Determined to enjoy the anonymity she has left and to honor a novel she loves, Jackie attends the trial. But there she is quickly recognized, and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover takes note of her interest and her outrage.

Through the story of Lawrence’s writing of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the obscenity trial that sought to suppress it, and the men and women who fought for its publication, Booker Prize–longlisted author Alison MacLeod captures the epic sweep of the twentieth century from war and censorship to sensuality and freedom. Exquisite, evocative, and grounded in history, Tenderness is a testament to the transformative power of fiction.

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Alison MacLeod / books about books / fiction / historical / international /