Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Man Booker Prize bibliography - 1976



Winner:

Saville, David Storey, Jonathan Cape, London, 1976. Readily available at less than £20.

David Malcolm Storey (born 13 July 1933) is an English playwright, screenwriter, award winning novelist and a former professional Rugby League player. He was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, the son of a miner, and educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Wakefield. After completing his schooling at Wakefield at age 17, Storey signed a 15-year contract with the Leeds Rugby League Club; he also won a scholarship to the Slade School of Fine Art in London. When the conflict between rugby and painting became too great, he paid back three-quarters of his signing-on fee, and Leeds let him go. Storey wrote the screenplay for This Sporting Life (1963), directed by Lindsay Anderson, adapted from Storey's first novel of the same name, originally published in 1960, which won the 1960 Macmillan Fiction Award. The film was the beginning of a long professional association with Anderson, whose film version of Storey's play In Celebration was released as part of the American Film Theatre series in 1975. Home and Early Days (both starred Sir Ralph Richardson) were made into television films. Storey's novels include Pasmore, shortlisted for the 1972 Booker Prize, Flight into Camden, which won the 1963 Somerset Maugham Award and the 1961 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize.

“Saxton, a mining village in south Yorkshire, is the setting for David Storey's new novel, his most complex and ambitious since Radcliffe. Against a background of war, of an industrialised countryside, town and coalmine and village, Colin Saville grows up to be shaped not merely by the spiritual and social ambitions of the starkly contrased parents – the mother slow, long suffering and deep feeling, the father mercurial, outward going and violently charged -- but by the character, richly observed and idiosyncratic, of the mining community itself. Out of this context of home and industrialised village emerges a deeply driven and resourceful child, set against the forces which have made him. Saville, David Storey's sixth novel, is an epic, gripping in its evocation of Colin Saville’s struggles and of the sights and sounds of his place of birth, and powerful in its depiction of his spiritual and moral growth: it amply confirms David Storey's status as one of our leading novelists.”


Shortlist

An Instant in the Wind, Andre Brink, W.H.Allen, London, 1976.  Reasonably common - should be possible to pick up at under £20.


André Philippus Brink, OIS, (born 29 May 1935 in Vrede) is a South African novelist. He writes in Afrikaans and English and is a Professor of English at the University of Cape Town. Brink was brought up in a traditional Calvinist Afrikaans household, and at University was very much part of a small Afrikaans elite. His views began to change following two extended visits to Paris, and he and Breyten Breytenbach were key figures in the 1960s Afrikaans literary movement known as Die Sestigers ("The Sixty-ers"). These writers sought to use Afrikaans as a language to speak against the apartheid government, and also to bring into Afrikaans literature the influence of contemporary English and French trends. His novel Kennis van die aand ("Knowledge of the night") (1973) was the first Afrikaans book to be banned by the South African government. Brink writes his works simultaneously in English and Afrikaans. While his early novels were especially concerned with apartheid, his more recent work engages the new range issues posed by life in a democratic South Africa. His books were influential in the era of political change in South Africa - Nelson Mandela, who once told him: "When I was in prison, you changed the way I saw the world" Рbut he has now become a more marginal figure as a result of his opposition to the current South African government. "Now that the ANC has moved into power," he has written, "its regime sadly must be branded as the enemy of the people." An Instant in the Wind was the first of two books to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize in the 1970s.

"In the early 1749 the EriK Larsson expedition into the South African interior came to its final halt somewhere along the Great Fish River. The guide had committed suicide, the Hottentot bearers had all deserted, and all but two of the oxen had been stolen by raiding bushmen. Elizabeth Larsson did not yet know it, but her husband lay dead in a thicket some miles away, beneath a blanket of branches....
Elizabeth’s fate was decided by the arrival of Adam Mantoor, and ex-carpenter and runaway slave from the Cape, who for some weeks had been secretly and compulsively tracking the wagons.
At first their relationship was guarded, poisoned by the black and white in them both. But, slowly and breathlessly, there emerged between them a fellowship that engulfed their most private selves.
Such a long journey ahead for you and me. Oh God, oh God.
An Instant in the Wind is the poetic reconstruction of a true life drama, told with passion and yearning. The terrain of South Africa is described with exceptional mastery, alongside that other, intimate, human landscape of happiness.
This no one can take away from us, not even ourselves.“


Rising, RC Hutchinson, Michael Joseph, 1976.  Uncommon, and often in relatively poor condition.  Expect to pay at least £75 for a very good or better copy.

Ray Coryton Hutchinson (January 23, 1907 – July 3, 1975) was a best-selling British novelist. He was born in Finchley, Middlesex and educated at Monkton Combe School, near Bath. He received his BA at Oriel College, Oxford in 1927 and joined the advertising department at Colman's in Norwich. He married Margaret Owen Jones in April 1929. His first novel, Thou Hast a Devil, was published in 1930. It was followed by The Answering Glory (1932), and The Unforgotten Prisoner (1933), which sold 150,000 copies in the first month. Subsequent novels also sold very well and in 1935 he left Colman's to begin writing full-time. In March 1940 he joined the army, and in July was posted as captain in the 8th Battalion of the Buffs Regiment. He travelled widely during the war, while continuing to write. In October 1945, after preparing the official history of the Paiforce campaign, he was demobilized with the rank of Major. After the war he wrote many more successful novels, often recommended by book clubs. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in June 1962. He died before completing the last chapter of his novel, Rising (1976), which is the only Booker Prize novel to have been published posthumously, and therefore unobtainable in signed form! It was published in September 1976 and short-listed for the Booker Prize in November of that year. Hutchinson published work comprises 17 novels and 28 short stories, as well as one play, Last Train South (1938). He wrote from a conservative perspective.

"R.C.Hutchinson's last novel, whose final pages he was writing on the day of his death, is ostensibly the study of an episode in South American history.  At a deeper level it is an examination of racila and other human relationships and of the eternal problem of evil.  R.C.Hutchinson himself regarded Rising as his final testament and his most important creative acheivement.
The centre of the story is Sabino, the outcast member of a rich South American mine-owning family, and his military expedition to safeguard a railway line from saboteurs.  Sabino's men are virtually slaves - half-starved miners pressed into unwilling service - and the description of the desparate forced march they make together achieves something in the nature of poetry.  At the beginning Sabino is alienated from all around him: his soldiers, his wife, and his son Patricio, who joins the march to protect his sister's lover.  With a realism which is all but physically shared by the reader, R.H.Hutchinson shows his characters growing and changing against an almost biblical background of harsh trials and illuminating incidents.
R.C.Hutchinson's passionate concern for humanity is always salted with irony and with joyous undertones.  He paints a large canvas with supreme confidence and an accuracy of vision which is deeply satisfying to the reader."



"The Doctor's Wife, Brian Moore, Cape, London, 1976. Reasonably common at £10-15.

Brian Moore (25 August 1921 – 11 January 1999) was born and grew up in my home town of Belfast, Northern Ireland. His father was a surgeon and his mother was a nurse. He grew up in a large Roman Catholic family of nine children, but rejected that faith early in life. Some of his novels feature staunchly anti-doctrinaire and anti-clerical themes, and he in particular spoke strongly about the effect of the Church on life in Ireland. A recurring theme in his novels is the concept of the Catholic priesthood. On several occasions he explores the idea of a priest losing his faith. These works were criticized by his sister, a Roman Catholic nun, and some were banned by the Church. He once described Ireland as "a nation of masturbators under priestly instruction."
Moore was a volunteer air raid warden during the bombing of Belfast by the Luftwaffe. He also served as a civilian with the British Army in North Africa, Italy and France. He went on to work in Eastern Europe after the war ended for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Moore emigrated to Canada in 1948, worked as a reporter for the Montreal Gazette, and eventually became a citizen of Canada. While he eventually made his primary residence in the United States, he continued to live part of each year in Canada up to his death. He also taught creative writing at UCLA.
Moore lived in Canada from 1948 to 1958, and wrote his first novels there. His earliest novels were thrillers, published under his own name and the pseudonyms Bernard Mara and Michael Bryan. Moore's first novel outside the genre, Judith Hearne, remains among his most highly regarded. The book was rejected by ten American publishers before being accepted by a British publisher. It was made into a film, with Dame Maggie Smith playing the lonely spinster who is the book/film's title character. Several other Moore novels were adapted for the screen, including Intent to Kill (1958), The Luck of Ginger Coffey, Catholics, Black Robe, Cold Heaven, and The Statement. He also wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's Torn Curtain and The Blood of Others, based on the novel Le Sang des autres by Simone de Beauvoir. Brian Moore died in 1999 at his home in Malibu, California, aged 77, of pulmonary fibrosis. He had been working on a novel about the 19th-century French symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud.
The Doctor’s Wife was the first of three novels to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize, which he never won.

"Like Judith Hearne, Sheila Redden is a Belfast woman. But she is married, to a successful surgeon, and the mother of a child.  The time is now, and the Belfast that looms over her is blighted by civil war. In Paris, on the way to a second honeymoon on the Riviera, she meets a young American student, with whom she falls into an extraoridinarily passionate affair.  He is at least ten years younger than Shiela, and obsessed with her, and even when they have only know eachother a few days, Shiela begins to feel curiously elated.  Nothing has ever mover her so powerfully or obtruded so completely on her sense of duty or the continuity of her life.
The Doctor's Wife isamoving portrait of a contemporary woman who submerges her aspirations in a dull marriage; a spare but telling evocation of Paris, the south of France, and Northern Ireland.; a deft sketch of hopeless political realities; an explicit, detailed account of the devastating power of sudden, highly erotic love.  It is stunningly well told: Brian Moore's narrative is always beautifully fluid, exquisitely textured. Every character is drawn boldly, but tenderly and carefully.  This is the sort of novel, so rare nowadays, that engages the reader not only because of the passions and predicaments of its characters, but also because at every moment one simply must find out what happens next."


 
King Fisher Lives, Julian Rathbone, Michael Joseph, 1976.  Relatively uncommon, but should be availble for £30-40.

Julian Christopher Rathbone ((10 February 1935 – 28 February 2008) was born in 1935 in Blackheath, southeast London. His great-uncle was the actor and great Sherlock Holmes interpreter Basil Rathbone, although they never met. He was brought up in Liverpool until he was 5 when war broke out and he and his parents moved to North Wales. He was educated at Clayesmore School, Dorset, and Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he read English and took tutorials with F. R. Leavis. After university Rathbone lived in Turkey for three years, making a living by teaching English. On his return to England jobs in various London schools were followed by the post of Head of English at a comprehensive school. Having originally aspired to be an actor or a painter, Rathbone had also taken up writing and initially had three novels published, all set in Turkey and informed by a background of which he had intimate knowledge. In 1973 he finally gave up teaching and from then made his living by writing. Various threads run through Rathbone's novels over their forty-year span, although he always refused to be tied to a single genre, and this perhaps restricted his commercial success. Rathbone was an atheist and man of the left who, like many a thoughtful human being before him, had undergone a religious phase in his youth only to have a sudden realisation, on being dazzled by the yellow autumn leaves on some chestnut trees, that “this is life. It begins and ends right here with what you’ve got.” It was an epiphany, he said years later. “I never worry about whether my works will be read posthumously.” He published almost 40 books in total, include crime, thrillers and historical novels. King Fisher Lives was the first of two Booker shortlistings, although he never won the prize.

"Lewis Fisher - wise man of the sixties, author of The Fuck Haters and The Venus High... Lewis Fisher - shining star of the younger generation of seminal thinkers....  Lewis Fisher - gunned down by the Civil Guards in an onscure corner of Spain.
“King Fisher Lives” say the T-shirts of the young and the myth grows that he was yet another victim of the CIA and the forces of reaction in Spain.
But what really happened on that 13th of December in a lost paradise of Las Batuecas?
Here are the journals of his English friend Mark Southam, the frank record of Lewis's ambiguous relationship with Mark and Mark’s untamed sister, Nadia; here too is traced the chain of ideas and events that led to the ultimate in dropping out, the breaking of the last taboo, and the inevitable retribution.
In his latest book, Julian Rathbone breaks new ground. To his penetrating study he brings the suspense, the strong narrative line, the vigourous descriptions of exotic backgrounds that characterised his thrillers. The result is a powerful novel -- disturbing, thought provoking, but above all in intensley gripping, vivid and moving, in its swift progress to an unforgettable climax."





The Children of Dynmouth, William Trevor, Bodley Head. Rasonably common, but expect to pay £90 or more.

The Children of Dynmouth was the eighth novel of Irish novellst and short story writer William Trevor, who was born to a Protestant family in Mitchelstown, County Cork, on 24 May 1928. He was educated at St Columba's College, County Dublin, and Trinity College, Dublin. He worked briefly as a teacher, and later as a copywriter in an advertising agency before he began to work full-time as a writer in 1965. He was also a sculptor and exhibited frequently in Dublin and London. His first novel, A Standard of Behaviour, was published in 1958. His fiction, set mainly in Ireland and England, ranges from black comedies characterised by eccentrics and sexual deviants to stories exploring Irish history and politics, and he articulates the tensions between Irish Protestant landowners and Catholic tenants in what critics have termed the 'big house' novel. He currently lives in England, in Co.Devon.

"Dynmouth is a pretty little seaside resort on the Dorset coast and like many another smalltown it has its secrets. These might remain well kept were it not for the presence of fifteen year old Timothy Gedge. With his yellow zipped jacket and almost white hair, his smile, his chatter and his endless stock of bad jokes, he is one of those boys whom nobody wants but who are impossible to get rid of. He is a relentlessly inquisitive voyeur, worming his way into several of the town's households, his insinuations and accusations often exposing panic and shame beneath the adult facade.
But it is with two younger children that Timothy Gedge more sensationally comes into his own. Stephen and Kate are both twelve (Stephen's widowed father has just married Kate's mother). While the parents honeymoon abroad, the children return to Dynmouth for the Easter holidays, and become victims of a master tormentor. Timothy Gedge is always there, dogging their footsteps, seeking their freindship, demanding their co-operation. He implants in Stephen the suspicion that his parents hate one another, that his father actually killed his mother.
Gawky and prowling, this malignant figure dominates the novel as gradually it becmoes a tale of horror. The victims of Timothy Gedge - adults and children alike - may in the end recover, and even gain strength, from the poison he has administered. But what of Timothy Gedge himself? Does his future lie in one of his fantasies? or in the town's sandpaper factory? And one way or the other has he already become a monster?"

2 comments:

Alex said...

Hello Ian,

I am a Man Booker Prize collector myself and I was wondering whether you will continue with your Booker series that has unfort. stopped with 1976 :-(
I find your articles a great source! Keep up the good work!

Trapnel said...

Alex

I haven't forgotten about this, and entirely by chance I spent a little time on 1977 last week. You should hopefully see it in the next week and I will then try to press on with the subsequent years! If only it wasn't for my day job this would have been completed some time ago.....

Best wishes

Ian