Alan Sillitoe: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (8852 words)


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The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1959), Alan Sillitoe’s second book, consists of nine short stories. He had made his debut as a fiction writer the previous year with a novel, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, and might have been expected to follow this up with another novel, in accordance with the usual pattern for emergent British novelists in the 1950s. But in that period, the “second novel” was often seen as a hazardous hurdle where a promising writer could come a cropper [as John Braine (1922-86) did when The Vodi (1959) flopped following the stellar success of Room at the Top (1957)]. Sillitoe did in fact have a second novel ready for publication, The General (which would appear i…

Citation: Tredell, Nicolas. "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 June 2010 [, accessed 03 March 2021.]

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