Tainted Love

Stewart Home


Book, 19.3 x 12.8 cm, 248 p, language: English, publisher: Virgin Books Ltd, London, ISBN: 075351088X.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2024/847).

Literary synopsis Partially based on diaries kept by the author's mother, this kaleidoscopic view of 60s counterculture shows how the optimism of swinging London imploded into nihilism and drug addiction. Arriving in the Smoke at the age of sixteen in 1960, narrator Jilly O'Sullivan lands gainful employment as a high class hostess. Fresh out of school, Jilly joins the exclusive scene that was swinging before the rest of London. By the time of the hippie explosion she's not only mixing with slumlords, gangsters and black power activists, but narcophilic 'faces' like Alexander Trocchi, Brian Jones, Michael Reeves and John Lennon. When Jilly drops acid it's so that she might become a cosmonaut of inner space and, by 1965, heroin is her chosen method of coming down from LSD fuelled highs. Propelled through a world of Hindu gurus, Islamic mystics, bent coppers and decadent aristocrats, Jilly lives fast and knows everyone. From her grass-smoking and CND-supporting beatnik youth, through to her death at the end of the 70s, Jilly's story allegorises the fatal trajectory of London's flower children, who were reluctant to let go of hedonism even when the party was well and truly over. [Novel website](http://www.stewarthomesociety.org/libri.htm)

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