A devastating novel of love and desire and one man's search for his soul in a world of violence and political intrigue, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award 1998
Gillespie, an Irishman, goes to the Congo in 1959 in pursuit of his beautiful lover In s, a passionate Italian journalist. Unlike her, Gillespie has no interest in the deepening independence crisis, nor in the charismatic leader, Patrice Lumumba. He has other business: this is his last chance to make love work for him.
A mighty achievement... vision, imagination and gravitas - Times
The Catastrophist Ronan Bennett - coverage to date
'Bennett's writing is as lush and sensual as ripe mangoes. His characters are complex and sympathetic. The tone, which is perfectly pitched, and the exotic setting collude to evoke an era of colonial decadence'
Financial Times 13th/14th June
A writer to watch, a genuine and gifted novelist - Cole Moreton, Independent
As lush and sensual as ripe mangoes - Financial Times
'The finding of a voice and what one says with it is central to The Catastrophist... Along with its politics The Catastrophist is an intensely erotic novel'
Linda Grant Guardian, Wednesday 17th June
'Bennett is a writer to watch, a genuine and gifted novelist'
Independent, Saturday 27th June
I have not read such a good thriller in years - Ian Thomson, Evening Standard
Ronan Bennett was born and brought up in Belfast, and has a Ph.D. in history from King's College, London. He is the author of The Second Prison (shortlisted for the Irish Times/Aer Lingus prize), Overthrown By Strangers, The Catastrophist (shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award) and most recently Havoc, in its Third Year (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2004). He has written screenplays for film and t.v. for BBC1 - and also works as a journalist.