Friday, 11 December 2009

Stanley Middleton

This week's Times Literary Supplement includes an overview by Paul Binding of the work of Nottingham novelist Stanley Middleton, who died earlier this year shortly before his 90th birthday. An overview was overdue. Binding picks out 1972-1984 as the key period of Middleton's work, starting with Cold Gradations and ending with The Daysman, with other high points including the earlier Harris's Requiem. While Trent Editions republished the latter, a small handful only of Middleton's late period titles are available. It would be wonderful if his main publisher, Hutchinson, could release some of his best work on print on demand, the equivalent of Faber Finds.

We were lucky enough to be the publisher of Holiday, Stanley Middleton's Booker winner, until Random House took back the rights earlier this year. It was fun having a Booker Prize winner on our list, and Stanley, gentleman that he was, refused all royalties and insisted on buying any copies he wanted at the full retail. We do still have some copies of Stanley Middleton at Eighty available.

Meanwhile, for those of you organised enough to have next year's diary, Paul Binding will be one of the speakers at a bookish celebration of Stanley Middleton's life on Saturday May 8th, from 2.00-4.30 at Nottingham University.

The event will be free but places will need to be booked. Full details are not available yet, but you can email Five Leaves meantime to make sure you are sent the programme.

Anybody really, really well organised may want to put a note in their 2013 diary that we will be publishing a critical overview of the novels of Angus Wilson by Paul Binding, that year being AW's centenary.

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