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The Empathy Problem by Gavin Extence

Out 11th August (Hodder and Staughton)

Gavin Extence had one of the biggest hits of 2013 with his bittersweet comedy The Universe Versus Alex Woods (which was nominated for the National Book Award and won the Waterstones 11 book prize), and now he’s crafted another corker in The Empathy Problem. Central character Gabriel Vaughn is an arrogant, self-obsessed hedge-fund manager who’s diagnosed with a brain tumour that begins to affect his personality; for the first time in his adult life he begins to experience emotion and to develop a capacity for empathy. When he falls in love with Caitlin, a socially-aware violinist he meets busking on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, he invents an alternative life for himself to avoid alienating her. As with all secrets, we know the truth will eventually emerge, but how will Caitlin react when it does? And if Gabriel really wants to make up for past mistakes, how will he do it? The Empathy Problem is part romantic comedy, part political satire, and part exploration of what it means to live a good life. It’s funny, well observed and heartfelt without being sentimental, which more than makes up for the occasional moment of implausibility. While it doesn’t pack quite the same emotional punch as Alex Woods, it’s a lovely, engaging read that’ll leave you resolving to change your own life for the better.

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About Winq

The new issue of the biggest gay magazine in the world is here! Winq is 196 pages of luxury lifestyle for discerning gents. Get your hands on the gay magazine you’ve always wanted. In our new August/September issue, chat show queen Ellen DeGeneres and fashion legend Michael Kors grace the cover. Ellen talks the return of forgetful fish Dory and lesbian stereotypes, while Michael Kors reflects on his illustrious career and married life. Peruvian model-turned-chef Franco Noriega is one hot dish in the food section, and we welcome our new columnist Cameron Laux, who will be sharing the ins and outs of being a gay dad over the coming issues. In our travel pages, we’re following our hearts to San Francisco and getting back to basics in Namibia, while the travel theme continues in our bumper style section with stylish shoots from Suriname, Israel, Vegas and France. All of this, within bigger and better sections dedicated to people, travel, style, business, home, fitness and culture. Be upstanding, Winq is the luxury lifestyle magazine for gay men.

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