Page 2 - Audio Books April - June 2017
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Patricia Highsmith
Writers for Readers Alan Johnson
Patricia Highsmith, aged 21
Patricia Highsmith was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and moved to New York when she was six, where she attended the Julia Richman High School and Barnard College. In her senior year she edited the college magazine, having decided at the age of 16 to become a writer. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was made into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. The Talented
Born in London in 1950, Alan Johnson grew up in Notting Hill, becoming a postman at 18. He joined the Communication Workers Union, rising through the ranks to become General Secretary. He was voted MP for Hull West and Hessle in 1997, and has served as Home Secretary, among other cabinet posts, as well as Shadow Chancellor. His first book, This Boy, won the
RSL Ondaatje prize and the Orwell Prize in 2013. His second, Please, Mister Postman, won the National Book Award for Autobiography of the Year in 2014.
Johnson’s writing style is easy, relaxed, self-deprecating. His recall and eye for detail are impressive Observer
The best memoir by a politician you will ever read
The Times
A poignant memoir . . . Johnson writes wonderfully
Daily Telegraph
On self-pity: The reason there is no self-pity in the book is because my mother never pitied herself, even though she would have been entitled to. She was a Scouser with a sense of humour. And why should I pity myself for my upbringing? I was the fortunate one.
Mr Ripley, published in 1955, introduced the fascinating anti-hero Tom Ripley, and was made into an Oscar- winning film. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland, in February 1995.
By her hypnotic art Highsmith puts the suspense story into a toweringly high place in the hierarchy of fiction
The Times
Highsmith is a giant of the genre. The original, the best, the gloriously twisted Queen of Suspense
Mark Billingham
Highsmith was every bit as deviant and quirky as her mischievous heroes, and didn’t seem to mind if everyone knew it Daily Telegraph
On writing: The first person you should think of pleasing, in writing a book, is yourself. If you can amuse yourself for the length of time it takes to write a book, the publisher and the readers can and will come later.
What we’re listening to . . .
With the centenary this year, we can’t recommend Helen Rappaport’s Caught in the Revolution enough. Told through the eyes of a flamboyant cast of characters, this vivid and engaging narrative of the Russian Revolution is simply a delight. Read by Mark Meadows.
And James Henry doesn’t disappoint with his new Essex-based crime series. Blackwater, read by Simon Mattacks, vividly evokes the 1980s as a bleak, noir landscape and introduces DI Nick Lowry as he investigates an illicit shipment bound for the Essex shoreline.
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