Jane Gardam - Last Friends - Little, Brown Book Group
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    • ISBN:9780349000169
    • Publication date:18 Feb 2014
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    • ISBN:9780748130184
    • Publication date:02 Apr 2013

Last Friends

By Jane Gardam

  • Paperback
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The witty and sparkling new novel from Jane Gardam, bestselling author of Old Filth.

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.

Biographical Notes

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. She was awarded an OBE in January 2009.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781408704394
  • Publication date: 02 Apr 2013
  • Page count: 224
An ambitious and complex portrait of extraordinary times — Guardian
Abacus

The Man In The Wooden Hat

Jane Gardam

Filth (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.

Little, Brown

The Stories

Jane Gardam

Throughout her career, prize-winning novelist Jane Gardam has been writing glorious short stories, each one hallmarked with all the originality, poignancy, wry comedy and narrative brilliance of her longer fiction. Passion and longing, metamorphosis and enchantment are Gardam's themes, and like a magician she plucks them from the quietest of corners: from Wimbledon gardens and cold churches, from London buses and industrial backstreets. A mother watching her children on the beach dreams of a long-lost lover, an abandoned army wife sees a ghost at a moorland gate, a translator adrift in Geneva is haunted by the unspeakable manifestation of her own fears, and a colonial servant wreaks a delicious revenge on her monstrous masters. Gardam's cast is wide and wonderful, saints and mystics, trollops and curmudgeons, yearning mothers and lost children, beloved figures such as Old Filth and less familiar - but equally unforgettable - characters like Signor Settimo, the sad-eyed provincial photographer marooned in Shipley or Florrie Ironside, the ferocious matron he seduces. With a mischievous ear for dialogue, a glittering eye for detail and a capacious understanding of the vagaries of the human heart, Jane Gardam's stories will captivate, sadden and delight.

Abacus

The People On Privilege Hill

Little, Brown

Facing the Music

Jane Gardam
from Jane Gardam

Old Filth - Introduction

Introduction to the Abacus 40 edition of Jane Gardam's 'Old Filth': the book that made the stiff upper lip tremble.

Abacus

Crusoe's Daughter

Abacus

Summer After The Funeral

Jane Gardam
Abacus

The Queen Of The Tambourine

Jane Gardam
Abacus

Going Into A Dark House

Jane Gardam
Abacus

Old Filth

Jane Gardam
Abacus

God On The Rocks

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 Flight Of The Maidens

Jane Gardam
Abacus

A Long Way From Verona

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

Faith Fox

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

Bilgewater

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

Forty Years of Original Writing

Abacus

In 2013 Abacus will celebrate forty years of publishing, with the reissue of 18 of our classic books with new introductions by the authors. They include a wonderfully diverse range of books - from Douglas Coupland's Generation X to Iain Banks' The Wasp Factory and from Tom Holland's Rubicon to Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.

Abacus

The Sidmouth Letters

Jane Gardam
Abacus

Master Georgie

Beryl Bainbridge

When Master Georgie - George Hardy, surgeon and photographer - sets off from the cold squalor of Victorian Liverpool for the heat and glitter of the Bosphorus to offer his services in the Crimea, there straggles behind him a small caravan of devoted followers; Myrtle, his adoring adoptive sister; lapsed geologist Dr Potter; and photographer's assistant and sometime fire-eater Pompey Jones, all of them driven onwards through a rising tide of death and disease by a shared and mysterious guilt.Combining a breathtaking eye for beauty with a visceral understanding of mortality, Beryl Bainbridge exposes her enigmatic hero as tenderly and unsparingly as she reveals the filth and misery of war, and creates a novel of luminous depth and extraordinary intensity.

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.

Abacus

The Pangs Of Love

Jane Gardam