Jane Gardam - Little, Brown Book Group

Jane Gardam



Jane Gardam has been awarded the Heywood Hill Literary Prize for a lifetime's contribution to the enjoyment of literature; has twice won a Whitbread Award and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
Hachette Audio

The Stories

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

Last Friends

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

'Like Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, the Old Filth trilogy restores us to an era rich in spectacle and bristling with insinuation and intrigue' Boston Globe'Sharp, humane, generous and wonderfully funny, she is one of our very finest writers' Hilary MantelShortlisted for the 2014 Folio Prize.Old Filth and The Man in the Wooden Hat told with bristling tenderness and black humour the stories of that Titan of the Hong Kong law courts, Old Filth QC, and his clever, misunderstood wife Betty. Last Friends, the final volume of this trilogy, picks up with Terence Veneering, Filth's great rival in work and - though it was never spoken of - in love. Veneering's were not the usual beginnings of an establishment silk: the son of a Russian acrobat marooned in northeast England and a devoted local girl, he escapes the war to emerge in the Far East as a man of panache, success and fame. But, always, at the stuffy English Bar he is treated with suspicion: where did this blond, louche, brilliant Slav come from? Veneering, Filth and their friends tell a tale of love, friendship, grace, the bittersweet experiences of a now-forgotten Empire and the disappointments and consolations of age.

Virago

The Vet's Daughter

Barbara Comyns
Authors:
Barbara Comyns

Growing up in Edwardian south London, Alice Rowlands longs for romance and excitement, for a release from a life that is dreary, restrictive and lonely. Her father, a vet, is harsh and domineering; his new girlfriend brash and lascivious. Alice seeks refuge in memories and fantasies, in her rapturous longing for Nicholas, a handsome young sailor, and in the blossoming of what she perceives as her occult powers. A series of strange events unfolds that leads her, dressed in bridal white, to a scene of ecstatic triumph and disaster among the crowds on Clapham Common. The Vet's Daughter is a uniquely vivid, witty and touching story of love and mystery.

Little, Brown

Facing the Music

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

A delightful short story from Jane Gardam, revisting that Titan of the Hong Kong law courts, Edward Feathers (known to many as Old Filth) in the days after he loses his beloved wife, Betty.

Abacus

Missing The Midnight

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

Old Filth

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

'Jane Gardam's work is rich and diverse and she writes beautifully. She's a treasure of contemporary English writing' Ian McEwan'What a spiky brilliant sledgehammer of a novel is Jane Gardam's Old Filth' Patrick NessSir Edward Feathers has had a brilliant career, from his early days as a lawyer in Southeast Asia, where he earned the nickname Old Filth (Failed In London, Try Hong Kong) to his final working days as a respected judge at the bar. Yet through it all he has carried with him the wounds of a difficult and emotionally hollow childhood. Now an eighty-year-old widower living in comfortable seclusion in Dorset, Feathers is finally free from the demands of his work and the sentimental scaffolding that has sustained him throughout his life. He slips back into the past with ever mounting frequency and intensity, and on the tide of these vivid, lyrical musings, Feathers approaches a reckoning with his own history. Not all the old filth, it seems, can be cleaned away.Jane Gardam has written a literary masterpiece that retraces much of the twentieth century's torrid and momentous history. Feathers' childhood in Malaya during the British Empire's heyday, his schooling in pre-war England, his professional success in Southeast Asia and his return to England toward the end of the millennium, are vantage points from which the reader can observe the march forward of an eventful era and the steady progress of that man, Sir Edward Feathers, Old Filth himself, who embodies the century's fate.

Abacus

The Man In The Wooden Hat

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

A Long Way From Verona

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

I ought to tell you at the beginning that I am not quite normal having had a violent experience at the age of nine'Jessica Vye's 'violent experience' colours her schooldays and her reaction to the world around her- a confining world of Order Marks, wartime restrictions, viyella dresses, nicely-restrained essays and dusty tea shops. For Jessica she has been told that she is 'beyond all possible doubt', a born writer. With her inability to conform, her absolute compulsion to tell the truth and her dedication to accurately noting her experiences, she knows this anyway. But what she doesn't know is that the experiences that sustain and enrich her burgeoning talent will one day lead to a new- and entirely unexpected- reality.

Abacus

Black Faces, White Faces

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

A loosely connected sequence of stories, offering vignettes of human foibles from the holiday island of Jamaica. Mrs Filling sees something nasty in the midday sun; an English lawyer dallies while his wife goes mad in England; sexuality flares and everywhere farce and racial tension lurk.

Abacus

Showing The Flag

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

The flag that is shown, literally and metaphorically, by these characters is always the Union Jack. Gardam's stories are acutely observed social commentaries on Englishness, its weaknesses and its illusions.

Abacus

God On The Rocks

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

During one glorious summer between the wars, the realities of life and the sexual ritual dance of the adult world creep into the life of young Margaret Marsh. Her father, preaching the doctrine of the unsavoury Primal Saints; her mother, bitterly nostalgic for what might have been; Charles and Binkie, anchored in the past and a game of words; dying Mrs Frayling and Lydia the maid, given to the vulgar enjoyment of life; all contribute to Margaret's shattering moment of truth. And when the storm breaks, it is not only God who is on the rocks as the summer hurtles towards drama, tragedy, and a touch of farce.

Abacus

The People On Privilege Hill

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

Faith Fox

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

When sweet, healthy hearty Holly Fox dies suddenly in childbirth, the Surrey village whose pearl she was reverberates with shock. She leaves behind her a helpless, silent husband, and a tiny daughter, Faith. Everyone assumes Holly's loving and capable mother Thomasina will look after Faith, but when she unaccountably deserts her newborn grandchild, the baby must be packed off to her father's peculiar family in the North - 'the very strangest people you ever saw my dear'.With wisdom, generosity, and understanding, Jane Gardam takes as her subject the English heart in all its eccentric variety. FAITH FOX sheds a clear, true light on the pain of bereavement whilst always offering the joyous possibility of a new beginning.

Abacus

The Flight Of The Maidens

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

This delightful novel describes the post-war summer of 1946 - and follows the growing-up of three young women in the months between leaving school and taking up their scholarships at university. Una Vane, whose widowed mother runs a hairdressing salon in her front room ('Maison Vane Glory - Where Permanent Waves are Permanent'), goes bicycling with Ray, the boy who delivers the fish and milk. Hetty Fallowes struggles to become independent of her possessive, loving, tactless mother. And Lieselotte Klein, who had arrived in 1939 on a train from Hamburg, uncovers tragedy in the past and magic in the present.Rooted in the north of England, THE FLIGHT OF THE MAIDENS is peopled with extraordinary characters, who are evoked with all the humour, compassion and eye for detail that mark Jane Gardam as one of Britain's most gifted and original novelists.

Abacus

The Pangs Of Love

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

With her customary accuracy, Jane Gardam reveals the extraordinariness of ordinary people as she deals with the pangs of love- fulfilled or hopeless, sexual or spiritual, tortured or hilarious- in these eleven stories.Paraded here are ladies with a 'thing' about vicars, strange events happening in ornate downstairs lavatories (and in ornate upstairs ones), and the English abroad, desperate and dotty. The glum and impossible Edna haunts the supermarket- and dispenses an unlikely kiss of life. The younger sister of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid declares her sibling 'very silly' and turns her story on its tail, an old maid forms a curious liason with a tramp, and small moments of temptation fill hotel rooms as histories glance briefly off each other.

Abacus

Going Into A Dark House

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

Molly Fielding's mother had been a terrible woman...'A terrible woman indeed. One need only to look at the old sepia photograph to see a vision of nastiness. The look of cunning, the self-satisfied smile, the aura of hauteur as she watches the little Italian photographer go about his business. They say the camera never lies, but maybe this one did...'Going into the Dark House', the title story of Jane Gardam's passionate new collection, brilliantly captures the subtly subversive qualities of her art. Quietly mesmeric and quite beautifully written, these ten stories are a delight.

Abacus

Summer After The Funeral

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

A rather mysterious old clergyman is dead, and his most adoring child, sixteen-year-old Athene is desolate. A statuesque beauty, greatly admired, she is also lonely, untouchable and living a secret life of fairly dangerous fantasy.Athene's mother, at once highly organised and monumentally vague, dispatches her children to spend the holidays with assorted friends and relatives. For Athene, victim of plans gone awry, that golden summer after the funeral becomes deliciously puzzling fodder for her fantasy. Stuck in a seaside hotel with an inarticulate and beautiful boy, marooned in a seaside cottage with a painter, and finally alone in an empty school with a young master, she finds that men are not all as saintly as her father- and that she is far from saintly herself...

Abacus

The Queen Of The Tambourine

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam
Abacus

The Sidmouth Letters

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

Jane Austen's love life- long the subject of speculation- is finally, delightfully dealt with in the title story of this collection. Many of the other stories, like 'The Sidmouth Letters,' bring together past and present- with sometimes hilarious, sometimes disturbing, often intensely moving results.With quiet elegance and devastating accuracy, Jane Gardam probes many and varied lives. We meet a trio of Kensington widows, mean-spirited and middle-aged, paying improbable tribute to a long exploited nanny; we await- with dread- a stranger to tea in an Engliish home; we witness the mercurial changes that take place in young love, and we watch as a bohemian, passionate past returns to tempt domestic bliss.

Abacus

Bilgewater

Jane Gardam
Authors:
Jane Gardam

Marigold Green calls herself 'hideous, quaint and barmy'. Other people calle her Bilgewater, a corruption of Bill's daughter. Growing up in a boys' school where her father is housemaster, she is convinced of her own plainness and peculiarity. Groomed by the wise and loving Paula, upstaged by bad, beautiful Grace and ripe for seduction by entirely the wrong sort of boy, she suffers extravagantly and comically in her pilgrimage through the turbulent, twilight world of alarming adolescence