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Underrated novels

Today's Observer has a brilliant article on forgotten and/or underrated novels. Fifty writers name one novel each. Will Self begins the parade with Alisdair Gray's Lanark. I read the first few paragraphs on the forgotten and ignored then scrolled down, keen to see if two of my favourites would make it, actually three, and it was only as I got into the forty-somethings of the list that it suddenly appeared - it's Hunger by Knut Hamsun. That book gave me shivers down my spine when I first read it, about ten years ago, long before I began to take my writing seriously. The list didn't, though, include anything by Richard Yates, although his work will no doubt gain more of a following once the Sam Mendes film of his first novel Revolutionary Road hits the screens later this year (!) I would also loved to have seen Guy de Maupassant's short novel, Butterball, on the list; fantastic fable and excellent characterisation.

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My PhD critical paper

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I'm also going to tweak section one of this three section critical paper with a view to journal publication because of the academic interest in the claims I make of Mary.

-Dedicated with love and respect to Dr Bruce Lloyd-

And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised


The biggest thank-you is due to Norma Clarke, Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University, who supervised this PhD. I never had cause to doubt my initial instincts as Norma proved to be the best mentor I could ever have wished for.

I would also like to acknowledge the generous studentship that I was fortunate to be awarded by Kingston Universi…

Booker Shortlist announced

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