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About the book
  • Published: 2 May 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448180745
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288
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Sex is Forbidden




A gripping and perceptive novel about the trials of self-discovery by one of our most highly acclaimed writers.

Sex is forbidden at the Dasgupta Institute. So what is the sparkling, magnetically attractive Beth Marriot doing here? Beth is fighting demons: a catastrophic series of events has undermined all prospect of happiness. Trauma leaves her no alternative but to bury herself in the austere asceticism of a community that wakes at 4am, doesn't permit eye contact, let alone speech, and keeps men and women strictly segregated. But the curious self dies hard. Conflicted and wayward, Beth stumbles on a diary and cannot keep away from it, or the man who wrote it.

Originally published with the title The Server

  • Pub date: 2 May 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448180745
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the Author

Tim Parks

Born in Manchester, Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. He lives in Milan.

He is the acclaimed author of novels, non-fiction and essays, including Europa, In Extremis, A Season with Verona, Teach Us to Sit Still and Italian Ways. He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Betty Trask Prize, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the John Florio Prize and the Italo Calvino Prize.

Also by Tim Parks

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Praise for Sex is Forbidden

“It's a cracker - clever, funny and insightful, with complicated, conflicted and totally convincing Beth at heart”

Harry Ritchie, Daily Mail

“Parks writes with detachment, wit and intelligence, and the troubled voice in Beth is entirely convincing”

Kate Saunders, The Times

“A wry and subtle story about what happens when the western self tries to lose itself.”

Kathryn Hughes, Prospect

“An eminently readable and thought-provoking novel that teases you to the last page, and possibly beyond”

Marcus Berkmann, Spectator

“Quirky, witty and deep”

Todd McEwen, Sunday Herald

“The Dasgupta Institute...is sharply observed, a surprisingly dystopian environment of gender segregation and enforced privation”

Thomas Marks, Telegraph

“Tim Parks' new novel addresses in fiction a milieu and a theme that he explored, with great success, in his memoir Teach Us How to Sit Still”

Leo Robson, Guardian

“Entertainingly dramatizes the conflict between seeking tranquility and expressing one true’s self”

Alastair Mabbott, Herald


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