Alan Sillitoe: The Ragman's Daughter

(2160 words)

The Ragman’s Daughter (1963) was Alan Sillitoe’s second collection of short stories after The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1960). All seven stories in the volume are set mainly in Nottingham and feature working-class protagonists whom we sometimes know only by their forenames, which contributes to a sense of intimacy. The collection confirms that Sillitoe was a master of the short story form, able to create absorbing characters, scenes and situations and to pack large implications into a brief run of pages.

The title story is a lively and finally poignant first-person narrative. Tony, 18-and-a-half when the story starts, picks up Doris Randall, a girl of about 17 in her last year at grammar s…
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Tredell, Nicolas. "The Ragman's Daughter". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 November 2012; last revised .
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]