Sunday, April 25, 2010

Alan Sillitoe

I've blogged here a few times about Alan Sillitoe, one of my favourite authors.

I'm sorry to hear that he's gone. He was still writing very powerful novels in recent years - Birthday and Leonard's War stood out for me, but he had plenty of good short stories as well - perhaps his preferred format?

He wrote with an empathy and a material awareness of the circumstances of the English working class that I don't think has been matched by anyone else. I found his essay in Colin Ward's Anarchy from some time in the 1960s called (from memory) Being Poor to be very profound in it's implications. It's a subject that is under-served mission in British literature, and one that will be covered even less now Alan is no longer with us.

1 comment:

Richard Westall said...

Alan Sillitoe was unlike the other 'angry young men' a media label like kitchen sink drama from those with noses in the air. I laughed at Lucky Jim - although there was nothing else from father and son - but the authentic, bitterness of difince in early Sillitoe had a longer impact in the days when all was possible. The films 'Saturday Night & Sunday Morning' and 'The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner' translated the books into cinema and the ChrisBarber track for 'Loneliness' is still in my collection.
I remeber the excitement at Freedom - the anarchist weekly - when Alan sent a poem. Freedom didn't publish poems but rules are there to be broken and the poem went in.