Jane Gardam - The People On Privilege Hill - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781405522359
    • Publication date:17 Jan 2013

The People On Privilege Hill

By Jane Gardam

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

* A new collection that is a masterclass in the art of the short story from Jane Gardam, bestselling author of OLD FILTH

It is a wet day in Dorset, and walking to a luncheon party is Sir Edward Feathers QC, followed by two elderly friends: his scruffy neighbour and sparring partner, Veneering, and Fiscal-Smith, the meanest lawyer ever to make a fortune at the Bar. Fans of Jane Gardam's bestselling novel, OLD FILTH, will be delighted to encounter Filth, now almost ninety, making his immaculate way to Privilege Hill, named perhaps for the Prive-Lieges who arrived with the Normans, but more probably for the village privies.

Ranging from a Victorian mansion converted into a home for unmarried mothers to a wartime hospital in the middle of the Blitz, from ghost stories to brilliant observations of love and loneliness in their various manifestations - including, in 'Pangbourne', a woman who falls in love with a gorilla - to reflections on the haphazard nature of intellect and memories in 'The Last Reunion', the stories in this collection mix Jane Gardam's trademark sardonic wit with a delicate tenderness and a touch of the surreal.

Biographical Notes

Jane Gardam has been awarded the Heywood Hill Literary Prize for a lifetime's contribution to the enjoyment of literature. She has twice won a Whitbread Award and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Her most recent novel, OLD FILTH, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize 2005. She was awarded an OBE in January 2009.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349118451
  • Publication date: 03 Jul 2008
  • Page count: 224
  • Imprint: Abacus
her new collection exemplifies Gardam's zest for human oddity, which she explores with characteristic empathy and humour. — LITERARY REVIEW
Gardam's touch is deft and light...she's such a good writer...This is Jane Gardam's 16th book of fiction: may it not be her last — The Spectator
She does fiction as it should be done, with confidence and insight — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Observer
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The Sidmouth Letters

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The Stories

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Last Friends

Jane Gardam
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'It's a cliche to compare novelists to Jane Austen, but in the case of Jane Gardam it happens to be true. Her diamond-like prose, her understanding of the human heart, her formal inventiveness and her sense of what it is to be alive - young, old, lonely, in love - never fades' Amanda Craig'Her work, like Sylvia Townsend Warner's, has that appealing combination of elegance, erudition and flinty wit' Patrick Gale'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.

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The Man In The Wooden Hat

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'It's a cliche to compare novelists to Jane Austen, but in the case of Jane Gardam it happens to be true. Her diamond-like prose, her understanding of the human heart, her formal inventiveness and her sense of what it is to be alive - young, old, lonely, in love - never fades' Amanda Craig'Her work, like Sylvia Townsend Warner's, has that appealing combination of elegance, erudition and flinty wit' Patrick GaleFilth (Failed In London, Try Hong Kong) is a successful lawyer when he marries Elisabeth in Hong Kong soon after the War. Reserved, immaculate and courteous, Filth finds it hard to demonstrate his emotions. But Elisabeth is different - a free spirit. She was brought up in the Japanese Internment Camps, which killed both her parents but left her with a lust for survival and an affinity with the Far East. No wonder she is attracted to Filth's hated rival at the Bar - the brash, forceful Veneering. Veneering has a Chinese wife and an adored son - and no difficulty whatsoever in demonstrating his emotions . . . How Elisabeth turns into Betty and whether she remains loyal to stolid Filth or is swept up by caddish Veneering, makes for a page-turning plot in a perfect novel which is full of surprises and revelations, as well as the humour and eccentricites for which Jane Gardam's writing is famous.

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Old Filth

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Inspector Singh Investigates: A Calamitous Chinese Killing

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Inspector Singh is on a mission to China, against his better judgment. The son of a bigwig at the Singapore Embassy has been bludgeoned to death in a back alley in Beijing. The Chinese security insist that he was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but the young man's mother demands that Singapore's finest (in his own opinion) rides to the rescue.But solving a murder in a country that practices socialism 'with Chinese characteristics' is a dangerous business. And it soon becomes apparent that getting to the bottom of this calamitous killing will be his toughest case yet . . .

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The Vet's Daughter

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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

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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.

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Safe Haven

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The bestselling novel and epic love story behind the Hollywood blockbuster, from the author of The NotebookLove hurts. There is nothing as painful as heartbreak. But in order to learn to love again you must learn to trust again.When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet unassuming, Katie is determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships.Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community. But even as Katie starts to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts her . . .*The breathtaking new love story from Nicholas Sparks, Every Breath, is available to pre-order now*Praise for Nicholas Sparks 'Pulls at the heartstrings' Sunday Times 'When it comes to tales about love, Nicholas Sparks is one of the undisputed kings' Heat 'An absorbing page-turner' Daily Mail'A fiercely romantic and touching tale' Heat on The Longest Ride'An A-grade romantic read' OK! on Safe Haven'This one won't leave a dry eye' Daily Mirror on The Lucky One

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A Walk To Remember

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Missing The Midnight

Jane Gardam
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The Pangs Of Love

Jane Gardam
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Crusoe's Daughter

Jane Gardam
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In 1904, when she was six, Polly Flint went to live with her two holy aunts at the yellow house by the marsh - so close to the sea that it seemed to toss like a ship, so isolated that she might have been marooned on an island. And there she stayed for eighty-one years, while the century raged around her, while lamplight and Victorian order became chaos and nuclear dred. Crusoe's Daughter, ambitious, moving and wholly original, is her story.

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Just Another Manic Mum-Day

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The Circus Of Ghosts

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City Of Veils

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The crime: one scalding afternoon, the mutilated body of a young woman, half naked beneath her burqa, is discovered on a Saudi beach; soon afterwards a Western woman's husband vanishes without trace.The place: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the City of Veils. A city of narrow streets and closed shutters, where nothing is what it seems ;and the Empty Quarter - one of the most beautiful, yet unforgiving deserts on earth.The people: Miriam Walker, alone in an alien culture, desperate to find her missing husband. Katya, a forensic scientist battling the prejudices of a society full of sexual, religious and moral contradictions; and Nayir, devout Muslim, desert guide, amateur sleuth - the man she loves.

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What Happens Now

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Showing The Flag

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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.

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Going Into A Dark House

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