Tuesday, 12 January 2016

More Raw Material

Alan Sillitoe: novelist, short story writer, memoirist, travel writer, essayist, playwright, satirist, children’s author and poet. Sixty plus titles over six decades and yet he’s best-known for his debut novel and an early short story (both made into films). A new anthology, More Raw Material, seeks to celebrate Sillitoe’s creative diversity.

The anthology takes its title from the author's Raw Material (1972), an innovative historical novel come family memoir that reflects on his relatives experience on the Western Front.
More Raw Material matches Sillitoe’s output for diversity with prose, fiction, non-fiction, illustration and photography filling its pages. About half of Sillitoe’s books were set in Nottingham and the city features prominently in the anthology with comparisons between the then and now. Many of the contributors pay direct homage to Sillitoe and his work - recounting meetings and influence - others less obviously. Some of the many highlights are Bryce Wilson’s book vs. the film essay Saturday Night Loneliness, Michael Eaton’s Letter to Mr Sillitoe, and the poems from Alan Baker, David Duncombe and David Cooke. There’s even part of Sillitoe’s draft outline for A Start in Life, as a screen treatment.

Co-edited by Neil Fulwood and David Sillitoe More Raw Material is a rich feast. The quality Russell Press produced paperback costs £9 (it won’t be appearing as an ebook) and revenue from sales will go to the Alan Sillitoe Memorial Fund.

“That the raw material of the past consists of ordinary people is a truism, yet it seems a little more true of Nottingham than anywhere else. The idiosyncratic and often turbulent nature of its inhabitants produced a more vivid past than most places.” Alan Sillitoe


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