; Literary Encyclopedia

Recommended reading for Alan Sillitoe

Bradford, Richard. The Life of a Long-Distance Writer: The Biography of Alan Sillitoe. London: Peter Owen, 2008. Print.

Recommended by Nicolas Tredell

Absorbing authorized biography which draws on unpublished archival and privately held material (e.g letters) and on interviews with Sillitoe and others.

Ritchie, Harry. Success Stories: Literature and the Media in England, 1950-1959. London: Faber and Faber, 1988. Print.

Recommended by Nicolas Tredell

Ritchie's book is a stimulating if somewhat tendentious account of the media construction in 1950s England of a new literary generation represented first by the Movement and then the Angry Young Men. Chapter 9, 'Working-Class Novelist' (pp. 184-202) focuses on Sillitoe and especially the reception of his first published novel, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958) and his first short-story collection, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1959). Ritchie's chief claim is that it a retrospective falsification to see these books as bringing Sillitoe great success in the later 1950s. According to Ritchie, their review reception was respectable but not rapturous and Sillitoe's sales and popular reputation did not really take off until the early 1960s, with the release of the film versions of Saturday Night (1960) and Loneliness (1962).

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