Sep 012011
From the author of the best selling memoir Losing Alexandria, CITY OF LONGING is a moving love story, steeped in longing, conflict and desire. “The betrayal of one’s friends is a bagatelle in the stakes of love, but the betrayal of oneself is lifelong regret,” Tom Stoppard wrote in The Invention of Love—and it is this regret that compels a man to search for the woman who will help him. He is mysterious and immensely wealthy, a banker. She is his apparent opposite, creative and idealistic. But she too is lost and unhappy. They are separated by oceans and continents and much more. Despite their seeming differences, they fall in love.They arrange to meet in New York. Afterwards they will fly to London and from there to Paris, his suite at The Ritz, and to his château in the South of France. But there are many surprises ahead, especially for the woman whose journey leads her to Morocco and finally to the Swiss Alps where she finds the answers she has been looking for.This unconventional love story incorporates a contemporary backdrop of many elements—conspicuous wealth and globalisation; the harm and suffering caused by the politics of medicine; the world of art, myth and literature; the power of places and the ecstasy and agony of falling in love.
City of Longing

City of Longing
Purchase Book

Quotes from reviews

Thompson’s writing is beautiful: a blend of sensual and intellectual, strewn with literacy, political and historical references.
– Victoria Cosford, Byron Bay Echo

“Victoria Thompson writes so entrancingly, her prose is so limpid, that it is a joy to read her.”-Peter Cowie

City of Longing is a deeply romantic love story, but it’s also much more – a meditation on literature, history, animal rights, human kindness, the politics of modern medicine, the world of Art, bankers and globalisation – and the ramifications of the personal choices we make.
– Tracey Mair

City of Longing is an exquisitely woven tale of love and loss, and if Thompson is playing her cards close to her chest, one can only hope that she is also keeping her beloved Cavafy’s words close to her heart: ‘Above all, don’t fool yourself, don’t say it was a dream …
– J S Breukelaar

“I read City of Longing in a spell of enchantment.  It is such a deep pleasure to immerse in its distinctive voice: a mix of so many things just as so many languages seem to have made their mark on its rythmns: passionate, melancholy, learned, and more. It is apparently unlike anything that is being produced around us in this world at this time, at least not like the loudest most visible things, but I hope its quiet grace finds it a place among those books that will continue to exist to reveal their singular pleasures.”     –Inez Baranay

I love the book: it’s gorgeous. Lyrical, haunting, elegant, spare.
– Jenni Caffin

I read “City of Longing” in one sitting, late into the night, I couldn’t stop as it swept me away. What an achievement. This book includes so much life and knowledge, honesty and poetry.    — Julie  Clarke, author and journalist

“Well I am reading this incredible book which I am completely in awe of, written by a very sensitive, creative and classical writer that is taking me on an amazing literary journey. The book is called “City of Longing”!  Victoria you are an amazing writer and the sooner you get a script writer onto this book, the sooner we will find ourselves lost in a world of magic, of poetry, of lovingness, of oneness and the feelings I have towards this work of art.  This book is like a beautiful painting in which each stroke of the brush gives us so many wondrous perspectives. Congratulations Victoria, you are a true artist.”                                                                             — Rosemary Dan, author


I wish to acknowledge information and inspiration gleaned from the following: Phillip Day, Health Wars, Credence Publications; Michael Haag, Alexandria City of Memory Yale University Press; C Hutchins and D Midgley, Goldsmith Mainstream Publishing; Richard Holmes, Shelley: The Pursuit, Vintage; The Dalai Lama, Ancient Wisdom, Modern World, Little Brown; John Richardson, A Life of Picasso, Pimlico; Carl R Rogers, On Becoming a Person, Houghton Mifflin; Tom Stoppard, The Invention of Love, Faber and Faber; Claire Tomalin, Shelley and His World, Penguin; Ashley Hay, The Secret, Duffy and Snellgrove. The poems of Cavafy are translations by Edmund Keeley from Cavafy’s Alexandria, Princeton University Press. Many thanks to Mr Keeley for permission to use his translations.

I wish to express my gratitude to Alain de Botton, Michael Wilding, Nick Walker, Jeffrey Masson, Tracey Mair, Louise Thurtell, Dawn Standfield, Rosemary Dan, Janet Robertson, Daniel Ruffino, Laurel Cohn, Jean Bedford, Lisette and David Jamieson; my friends and legal advisers, Joanne Rees and Bruce Clarke, and my agent, Fitzroy Boulting, for his unwavering belief in my work.