paper trail

Apr 26, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

Bard of the postwar British working-class Alan Sillitoe has died at age eighty-two. Known for the novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958)and the story collection The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1959), Sillitoe was pretty mad about being lumped in with the Angry Young Man brand of British literature. He'll be widely eulogized with a quote from the film version of Saturday Night: Whatever people say I am, that's what I'm not.” But it is an earlier line in that scene that's more expressive of Sillitoe’s art: "I'm not barmy, I'm a fighting pit-prop that wants a pint of beer, that's me. But if any knowing bastard says that's me, I’ll tell ‘em I'm a dynamite dealer. "

Heidi Julavits's significant object tells the story of a man who seems rotten to the core.

Catch up with Friday evening's LA Times Book Prize winners in Bookforum back issues; Dave Eggers’s Zeitoun, Rafael Yglesias’s A Happy Marriage, Philipp Meyer's American Rust, David Mazzucchelli's Asterios Polyp, and Linda Gordon's Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits.

“Sidewalk booksellers are an essential part of New York street culture, the intellectual wing of an alfresco economy that includes coffee carts, peanut roasters and break-dancing buskers,” writes Simon Akam as he sets out to find which titles are the best second-hand sellers