LAUGH NOW. CRY LATER.
"Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere..."
It’s London, 2014, and Hal Lancaster, son and heir of Henry, Duke of Lancaster, is in a holding pattern: his mother is dead, his father is dying or remarrying or both, his siblings are fighting, his internship is pointless, and nobody will leave him alone.
Everything is as it should be and yet nothing is right. Over the course of a year of partying, drinking, and flirting to dubious consequence, Hal is tested by brutal family legacies, Catholic guilt, and the terrifying possibility of being loved. All of which is complicated by a pattern of abuse that threatens to chase Hal into adulthood. The House of Lancaster will never be the same.
Crackling with intelligence and wit, Henry Henry is a brilliant recasting of the Henriad in which Hal Lancaster is a queer protagonist for a new era. Allen Bratton arrives as a successor to Waugh and St. Aubyn with this lush, stylish novel of family, legacy, and what it means to be alive today.
Praise for Henry Henry
"HENRY HENRY is carnal and precise, a challenging taxonomy of familial and personal failure that Bratton renders without tidiness or judgment."
—Raven Leilani, author of LUSTER
"Allen Bratton's HENRY HENRY brilliantly highlights the tension between history and modernity, power and freedom, and fathers and sons. A darkly humorous examination of the weight of privilege packed with drugs, dicks, Catholicism, cigarettes, and, yes, love— HENRY HENRY is a sharply-written party you don't want to miss. "
—Isaac Fitzgerald, author of DIRTBAG MASSACHUSETTS
"At times witty and at others harrowing, Bratton’s book memorably explores the unexpected depths of its protagonist. This novel revisits classic literature but never feels beholden to it."
—KIRKUS, STARRED REVIEW
"Not only is Henry Henry one of the first books of the year that has inspired an audible gasp, it’s also the years finest debut. It has the power to reinvigorate literature with the type of daring prose that is becoming much too rare."
—Jeremy O. Harris, playwright of SLAVE PLAY
"Darkly witty... a chronicle of survival and healing from generational trauma."