Thursday, 15 November 2012

New from Five Leaves, The Open Door by Alan Sillitoe

The Open DoorFive Leaves' Bromley House Editions book this year is The Open Door by Alan Sillitoe. The Open Door follows Saturday Night and Sunday Morning as the final volume in the Seaton series.
Returning on a troopship from Malaya in 1949, Brian Seaton (Arthur's brother) comes back to a Nottingham world of rationing, the black market, a wife he no longer loves and a child who does not recognise him. He is full of life and lust, but he has tuberculosis, forcing a long stay in a military hospital where he falls for first one nurse, then a second, while carrying on a relationship with another TB sufferer back in Nottingham.
In the background, this partially autobiographical novel reveals that Seaton is starting to write, meeting others like him as he realises there is a wider world than the back streets of his Midlands home.
Copies available from
Alan Sillitoe is no longer with us, but Nottingham is determined to celebrate his life and work as never before. A few months after he died, in 2010, Five Leaves organised a day event about Alan attended by around 200 people. Since then the films of his books have appeared regularly, plays, a musical and two weeks ago a second day was held organised by the local Alan Sillitoe Committee, a bit less reverential than the first, as it should be given the passage of time.
The big one will, however, be the forthcoming exhibition at Lakeside Gallery, which opens this weekend and runs until February. Early details are on The Five Leaves connections here include some of Peter Mortimer's photos (from Made in Nottingham) in the exhibition and on Saturday 26th January I'll be curating (everyone's a curator these days, have you noticed?) an afternoon session on Nottingham working class life and leasure. I'll post more on this soon, but I think it safe to safe to say that the Lakeside cafe had better get in some extra scones. This exhibition will be just so busy.
Anyone reading this before 6.30 on Monday 19 November will be welcome to attend the book launch of The Open Door at Bromley House Library, Angel Row, Nottingham, which will be attended by the poet Ruth Fainlight and her and Alan's son, David Sillitoe. Let me know on if you are coming.

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