Books Criticism Essay Film Interview

From the Archives: Reading Alan Sillitoe

“Albert Finney…is a very exceptional specimen” —The New York Times, review of the 1960 film SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING, based on the novel by Alan Sillitoe.

I was remembering the author Alan Sillitoe, who died in 2010 and found this great, over-the top promo. Sillitoe was a British, working-class writer who came up with the likes of Kingsley Amis, but rejected the Angry Young Man title given to Amis and his ilk. I’m not sure what he ultimately thought of the film, but the adaptation was a success and helped launch actor Albert Finney’s career as a film star (after he’d already wowed em on stage). Sillitoe’s novel, and his other work, especially the short story collection Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner deserves a second and third look. Tin House Magazine published a lost and found essay I wrote about Loneliness in their “Touch and Go” issue and I did an interview for them with Sillitoe in their “Winter Reading” issue (2006).

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Reading Oct. 13th at the NYPL

The New York Public Library is my Mecca and Medina, it’s the most gorgeous temple to literature I’ve ever seen (unless you count Nature, though would literature be a temple then to nature…hmm).  So to be reading there is a huge, huge thrill.  The reading series is called “Periodically Speaking” and it’s hosted by CLMP (Council for Literary Magazines and Presses) who asks editors from literary magazines to introduce emerging writers from their pages.  I’ll be reading from a piece upcoming in Tin House (Fall Issue, on the shelves Oct 1st). Come!