Sillitoe, Alan

Sillitoe, Alan, 1928–2010, English writer, b. Nottingham. The son of an illiterate tannery worker, he grew up in poverty, left school at 14, and was himself a factory worker as a teenager. One of the angry young men of the 1950s and 60s, Sillitoe achieved widespread acclaim (and remains best known) for the novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958, film 1960) and the short story The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1959, film 1962). These early works are blunt, realistic accounts of the narrow existences, alienation, and rebellions of working-class Englishmen. Sillitoe published more than 50 books, including poetry, e.g., Barbarians (1973), essays, e.g., A Flight of Arrows (2003), travel books, e.g., Gadfly (2007), children's literature, e.g., Marmalade Jim at the Farm (1980), and other novels, e.g., The Widower's Son (1976), Out of the Whirlwind (1988), and Birthday (2001), and short-story collections, e.g., The Ragman's Daughter (1963, film 1974), The Second Chance (1980), and New and Collected Stories (2003).

See his semiautobiographical family history, Raw Material (1973, repr. 1987), and his autobiography, Life without Armour (1995, repr. 2004); biography by R. Bradford (2008); studies by A. R. Penner (1972), S. S. Atherton (1979), P. Hitchcock (1989), G. M. Hanson (1999), and J. Sawkins (2001).

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