| Alan Sillitoe|
| 4 March 1928
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England (1928-03-04) |
April 25, 2010, London, United Kingdom
Ruth Fainlight (m. 1959–2010)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, The Ragman's Daughter
David Sillitoe, Susan Sillitoe
The Loneliness of the Lon, Saturday Night and Sunday, A Start In Life, Life without armour, New and Collected Stories
Tony Richardson, Karel Reisz, Ruth Fainlight, Tom Courtenay, Albert Finney
Alan Sillitoe Wikipedia
Alan Sillitoe (4 March 1928 – 25 April 2010) was an English writer and one of the so-called "angry young men" of the 1950s. He disliked the label, as did most of the other writers to whom it was applied. He is best known for his debut novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and early short story The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, both of which were adapted into films.
Sillitoe was born in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, to working class parents Christopher Sillitoe and Sabina (née Burton). Like Arthur Seaton, the anti-hero of his first novel, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, his father worked at the Raleigh Bicycle Company factory. His father was illiterate, violent, and unsteady with his jobs, and the family was often on the brink of starvation.
Sillitoe left school at the age of 14, having failed at the entrance examination to grammar school. He worked at the Raleigh factory for the next four years, spending his free time reading prodigiously and being a "serial lover of local girls". He then joined the Air Training Corps in 1942 then the Royal Air Force, albeit too late to serve in the Second World War. He served as a wireless operator in Malaya during the Emergency. After returning to Britain, he was planning to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force, but was discovered to have tuberculosis and spent 16 months in an RAF hospital.
Pensioned off at the age of 21 on 45 shillings (£2.25) a week, he lived in France and Spain for seven years in an attempt to recover. In 1955, while living in Mallorca with the American poet Ruth Fainlight, whom he married in 1959, and in contact with the poet Robert Graves, Sillitoe started work on Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, which was published in 1958. Influenced in part by the stripped-down prose of Ernest Hemingway, the book conveys the attitudes and situation of a young factory worker faced with the inevitable end of his youthful philandering. As with John Osborne's Look Back in Anger and John Braine's Room at the Top, the novel's real subject was the disillusionment of post-war Britain and the lack of opportunities for the working class. It was adapted as a film by Karel Reisz in 1960, with Albert Finney as Arthur Seaton; the screenplay was written by Sillitoe.
Sillitoe's story The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, which concerns the rebellion of a borstal boy with a talent for running, won the Hawthornden Prize in 1959. It was also adapted into a film, in 1962, this time directed by Tony Richardson and starring Tom Courtenay.
With Fainlight he had a child, David. They later adopted another, Susan. Sillitoe lived at various times in Kent, London and Montpellier. In London he was friendly with the bookseller Bernard Stone (who had been born in Nottingham a few years before Sillitoe), and became one of the bohemian crowd that congregated at Stone's Turret Bookshop on Kensington Church Walk.
In the 1960s Sillitoe was celebrated in the Soviet Union as a spokesman for the "oppressed worker" in the West. Invited to tour the country, he visited several times in the 1960s and in 1968 he was asked to address the Congress of Soviet Writers' Unions, where he denounced Soviet human rights abuses, many of which he himself had witnessed.
In 1990 Sillitoe was awarded an honorary degree from Nottingham Trent University. The city's older Russell Group university, the University of Nottingham, also awarded him an honorary D.Litt in 1994. In 2006 his best-known play was staged at the university's Lakeside Arts theatre in an in-house production.
Sillitoe wrote many novels and several volumes of poems. His autobiography, Life Without Armour, which was critically acclaimed on publication in 1995, offers a view of his squalid childhood. In an interview Sillitoe claimed, "A writer, if he manages to earn a living at what he's doing, even if it's a very poor living, acquires some of the attributes of the old-fashioned gentleman (if I can be so silly)."
Gadfly in Russia, an account of his travels in Russia spanning 40 years, was published in 2007. In 2008 London Books republished A Start in Life in its London Classics series and to mark the author's 80th birthday. Sillitoe appeared on Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4 on 25 January 2009.
Sillitoe's long-held desire for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning to be remade for a contemporary filmgoing audience was never achieved, despite strong efforts. Danny Brocklehurst was set to adapt the book and Sillitoe gave his blessing to the project, but Tony Richardson's estate and Woodfall Films prevented it from going ahead.
Sillitoe was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1997.
Sillitoe died of cancer on 25 April 2010 at Charing Cross Hospital in London. He was 82. He is buried in Highgate Cemetery.Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, London: Allen, 1958; New York: Knopf, 1959. New edition (1968) has an introduction by Sillitoe, commentary and notes by David Craig. Longman edition (1976) has a sequence of Nottingham photographs, and stills from the film, Harlow.
The General, London: Allen, 1960; New York: Knopf, 1961
Key to the Door, London: Allen, 1961; New York: Knopf, 1962; reprinted, with a new preface by Sillitoe, London: Allen, 1978
The Death of William Posters, London: Allen, 1965; New York: Knopf, 1965
A Tree on Fire, London: Macmillan, 1967; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1968
A Start in Life, London: Allen, 1970; New York: Scribners, 1971
Travels in Nihilon, London: Allen, 1971; New York: Scribners, 1972
The Flame of Life, London: Allen, 1974
The Widower's Son, Allen, 1976; New York: Harper & Row, 1977
The Storyteller, London: Allen, 1979; New York: Simon & Schuster, 1980.
Her Victory, London: Granada, 1982; New York: Watts, 1982
The Lost Flying Boat, London: Granada, 1983; Boston: Little, Brown, 1983
Down from the Hill, London: Granada, 1984
Life Goes On, London: Granada, 1985
Out of the Whirlpool. London: Hutchinson, 1987
The Open Door, London: Grafton/Collins, 1989
Last Loves, London: Grafton, 1990; Boston: Chivers, 1991
Leonard's War: A Love Story. London: HarperCollins, 1991
Snowstop, London: HarperCollins, 1993
The Broken Chariot, London: Flamingo/HarperCollins, 1998
The German Numbers Woman, London: Flamingo/HarperCollins, 1999
Birthday, London: Flamingo/HarperCollins, 2001
A Man of His Time, Flamingo (UK), 2004, ISBN 0-00-717327-X; Harper Perennial (US), 2005. ISBN 0-00-717328-8; ISBN 978-0-00-717328-0
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, London: Allen, 1959; New York: Knopf, 1960
The Ragman’s Daughter and Other Stories, London: Allen, 1963; New York: Knopf, 1964
Guzman, Go Home, and Other Stories, London: Macmillan, 1968; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1969; reprinted, with a new preface by Sillitoe, London; Allen, 1979
Men, Women and Children, London: Allen, 1973; New York: Scribners, 1974
Down to the Bone, Exeter: Wheaton, 1976
The Second Chance and Other Stories, London: Cape, 1981; New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981
The Far Side of the Street: Fifteen Short Stories, London: Allen, 1988
Alligator Playground: A Collection of Short Stories, Flamingo, 1997, ISBN 0-00-655073-8
New and Collected Stories, Carroll and Graf, 2005. ISBN 0-7867-1476-X
Every Day of the Week: An Alan Sillitoe Reader, with an introduction by John Sawkins London: Allen, 1987
Collected Stories, London: Flamingo, 1995; New York: HarperCollins, 1996
The City Adventures of Marmalade Jim, London: Macmillan, 1967; Toronto: Macmillan, 1967; revised ed., London: Robson, 1977
Big John and the Stars, London: Robson, 1977
The Incredible Fencing Fleas, London: Robson, 1978. Illus. Mike Wilks.
Marmalade Jim at the Farm, London: Robson, 1980
Marmalade Jim and the Fox, London: Robson, 1984
Road to Volgograd, London: Allen, 1964; New York: Knopf, 1964
Raw Material, London: Allen, 1972; New York: Scribners, 1973; rev. ed., London: Pan Books, 1974; further revised, London: Star Books, 1978; further revised, London: Allen, 1979
Mountains and Caverns: Selected Essays, London: Allen, 1975
Words Broadsheet Nineteen, by Sillitoe and Ruth Fainlight. Bramley, Surrey: Words Press, 1975. Broadside
“The Interview”, London: The 35s (Women’s Campaign for Soviet Jewry), 1976
Israel: Poems on a Hebrew Theme, with drawings by Ralph Steadman; London: Steam Press, 1981 98 copies.
The Saxon Shore Way: From Gravesend to Rye, by Sillitoe and Fay Godwin. London: Hutchinson, 1983
Alan Sillitoe’s Nottinghamshire, with photographs by David Sillitoe. London: Grafton, 1987
Shylock the Writer, London: Turret Bookshop, 1991
The Mentality of the Picaresque Hero, London: Turret Bookshop, 1993, Turret Papers, no. 2. (500 copies)
Leading the Blind: A Century of Guidebook Travel. 1815-1914, London: Macmillan, 1995
Gadfly in Russia, JR Books, 2007
Three Plays, London: Allen, 1978 Contains The Slot-Machine, The Interview, Pit Strike
Life Without Armour, (HarperCollins, 1995) ISBN 0-00-255570-0, ISBN 978-0-00-255570-8
Without Beer or Bread, Dulwich Village: Outposts, 1957
The Rats and Other Poems, London: Allen, 1960
Falling Out of Love and Other Poems, London; Allen, 1964; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1964
Shaman and Other Poems", Turret, 1968 (Limited ed. of 500 copies, 100 copies signed and numbered)
Love in the Environs of Voronezh and Other Poems, London: Macmillan, 1968; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1969.
Poems, by Sillitoe, Ruth Fainlight and Ted Hughes; London: Rainbow Press, 1971. (300 copies)
From Canto Two of The Rats, Wittersham, Kent: Alan Sillitoe, 1973
Barbarians and Other Poems, London: Turret Books, 1973. 500 copies
Storm: New Poems, London: Allen, 1974
Somme, London: Steam Press, 1974. In Steam Press Portfolio, no. 2. 50 copies
Day-Dream Communiqué, Knotting, Bedfordshire: Sceptre Press, 1977. 150 copies
From Snow on the North Side of Lucifer, Knotting, Bedfordshire: Sceptre Press, 1979. (150 copies)
Snow on the North Side of Lucifer: Poems, London: Allen, 1979
Poems for Shakespeare 7, Bear Gardens Museum and Arts Centre, 1979 (Limited to 500 numbered copies)
More Lucifer, Knotting, Bedfordshire: Martin Booth, 1980. 125 copies
Sun Before Departure: Poems, 1974–1982, London: Granada, 1984
Tides and Stone Walls: Poems, with photographs by Victor Bowley; London: Grafton, 1986
Three Poems, Child Okefurd, Dorset: Words Press, 1988. 200 copies
Collected Poems, London: HarperCollins, 1993
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) (screenplay based on own novel)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) (screenplay based on own short story)
Counterpoint (1967) (based on his novel The General)
The Ragman's Daughter (1972) (based on short story)
Chopin's Winter in Majorca 1838–1839, by Luis Ripoll, translated by Sillitoe. Palma de Majorca: Mossen Alcover, 1955
Chopin’s Pianos: The Pleyel in Majorca, by Luis Ripoll, translated by Sillitoe. Palma de Majorca: Mossen Alcover, 1958
All Citizens Are Soldiers (Fuente Ovejuna): A Play in Two Acts, by Lope de Vega translated by Sillitoe and Ruth Fainlight. London: Macmillan, 1969; Chester Springs, PA: Dufour, 1969
Poems for Shakespeare, volume 7, edited and translated by Sillitoe and Ruth Fainlight. London: Bear Gardens Museum & Arts Centre, 1980
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