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Posts Tagged ‘patrick hamilton’

Finds has a brand new skin for its July titles, forthcoming this week and offering a refreshed range of subject matter along with a handsome redesign of the imprint’s covers (and dedicated copy for each title.) Fictional treasures amid the July selections include Stranger With a Bag, short stories by Sylvia Townsend Warner, hailed by Sarah Waters as ‘one of the most talented and well-respected British authors of the twentieth century’; Emma Tennant’s feminist gothic tales Faustine and Two Women of London; and the incredibly rare early Patrick Hamilton novel Twopence Coloured. Among the non-fiction offerings are Trevor Wilson’s timely The Downfall of the Liberal Party 1914-1935; Correlli Barnett’s The Audit of War, anatomising Britain’s decline as a world power; and Tom Wintringham’s searing Spanish Civil War memoir English Captain (on the 75th anniversary of the generals’ coup.) Pop culture also makes its presence felt on the Finds list through two seminal works of the mid-1980s: Dave Rimmer’s Like Punk Never Happened: Culture Club and the New Pop, and Fred Vermorel’s brilliantly lubricious Starlust: The Secret Fantasies of Fans. And the literary dimensions of football are represented by Gazza Agonistes, a terribly funny and deeply felt appreciation of Paul Gascoigne by the late poet and Spurs fan Ian Hamilton. The list is completed by memoirs from two of the great neglected geniuses of twentieth century English letters: Maiden Voyage by Denton Welch and Apostate by Forrest Reid. In the week ahead please do look out for more on this page for each of these brilliant titles.

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English Heritage hereby confirms the thankful news:

The unsung hero of twentieth century fiction is honoured. The novelist and playwright Patrick Hamilton (1904-1962), has been commemorated with an English Heritage blue plaque in celebration of his life and contribution to literature. The plaque was installed at 2 Burlington Gardens, Chiswick, W4 on Saturday (12th February).

I understand the plaque’s installation is something of a personal triumph for Nick Robinson, Vintage Sales Manager, who campaigned for it over a good many years. So a big bravo for that effort.
As previously reported, Faber Finds has been hopeful for some time of returning certain rare Hamiltons to print, and I think that as of today I can safely report that Twopence Coloured and Impromptu in Moribundia will be reissued in Finds this coming July. If we could do it tomorrow we surely would… But this is certainly something for all of us to look forward to, and Hamilton fans should be reassured that Monday Morning will follow in Finds just as soon as is practically possible.
Patrick Hamilton is a ‘writer’s writer’ in many respects, and also one of whom we must say, in a bittersweet way, that both his life and work have to be considered with a nod to both the creative and the destructive powers of alcohol. As such I’d argue that the most finessing appreciations of Hamilton one can read are those written by fellow novelists, and ideally novelists who also have passed a certain number of hours “in the ambers”, as whisky-drinkers would say. So I heartily recommend to you this Guardian piece by Dan Rhodes, who says of Hamilton that “he wrote some of the best fiction, and far and away the best pub fiction, I’ve come across”

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An interesting piece here on the website of West End Lane Books, concerning ‘Lost London Authors.’ As one would hope in light of our stated ambitions, certain writers whom Finds has already revived are namechecked therein: A.S.J. Tessimond for starters, also Colin MacInnes, and there’s a nice mention for Dan Davin’s Closing Times, the author’s reminiscences of Julian Maclaren-Ross, W. R. Rodgers, Louis MacNeice, Enid Starkie, Joyce Cary, Dylan Thomas and the Yiddish poet Itzik Manger.
Then, of course, there is Patrick Hamilton, early works of whose Finds dearly hopes, sourcing issues permitting, to be restoring to readers by the middle of the year ahead… Hamilton’s classic Hangover Square remains very much in print and currency, of course: I picture it here simply because in its aura, in its very name, it speaks so eloquently of just how sharply Hamilton perceived and could paint in words a portrait of ‘The Big Smoke’…

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