Monday, 22 February 2010

Ray Gosling

This is not the place to rehearse the current story about Ray Gosling, the Nottingham writer who said on television that he smothered a lover who was dying. There have been many stories locally and nationally about this. Last Friday at 6.30pm a reporter from the Mail on Sunday pitched up on my home doorstep, asking my bemused partner if I was publishing Ray's new autobiography. I was in Scotland so she simply took the Mail man's number. I was interested that the chap chose to doorstep, as that home address is not in the public domain. The Mail could easily have rung or emailed the Five Leaves' office.

Yesterday's Mail - under the heading "Police seize Gosling autobiography in 'mercy killing' hunt" said that "It is thought he is in talks with a publisher, Five Leaves, to bring out the book this year. A friend said 'Ray told me about the book. I don't know if there's a name or an account of what happened'". The article goes on to say that "Identifying the victim is a huge challenge".

Perhaps one way of meeting this huge challenge was to nip round to the publisher's house and ask him if the name was in the manuscript? Why didn't the police think of that? Only, we've never read the book, discussed it with Ray, taken part in any talks about bringing it out, or even knew of its existence until reading the article in the Mail.

We are in the throes of re-publishing Ray's book Personal Copy: a memoir of the 1960s. This book was first published by Faber in 1980 and has some wonderful chapters about Nottingham and Leicester, Centre 42 and other aspects of life in the 1960s. Perhaps the Mail is confused.

There was one part of the article concerning Five Leaves that was correct though "Five Leaves was not available for comment". Indeed.

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