Author(s): Alan Bennett
The first ever collection in paperback of Alan Bennett's fiction - published in the year when he has been given the British Book Lifetime Achievement Award
Here are Alan Bennett's hugely admired, triumphantly reviewed and bestselling novellas, brought together in one book for the first time:
Father! Father! Burning Bright, the savage satire on a dying man's family reaction as he still asserts control over them from the hospital bed.
The Clothes They Stood Up In, has sold over 200,000 copies as a small novella and was 14 weeks in the Bestseller lists. It is the painful story of what happens to an elderly couple when their flat is stripped completely bare.
The Laying on of Hands, a memorial service for a masseur to the famous that goes horribly wrong.
Like everything Alan Bennett does, these stories are playful, witty and painfully observant of ordinary people's foibles. And they all have a brilliant and surprising twist; are immensely funny and profoundly moral.
Three of the inimitable Alan Bennett's novellas, already published successfully and separately by Profile in small format, are collated into one wry volume. The Clothes They Stood Up In, which sold more than 200,000 copies as a stand-alone, is the best one and relates the whimsical fate of Mr and Mrs Ransome who come home from a concert to discover every item stripped from their flat, leaving them to cope without any material possessions. The Laying on of Hands, a memorial service which goes disastrously wrong, and Father! Father! Burning Bright on the lingering death of a father in hospital, complete the trilogy. More than a treat because Bennett conveys painful truths with painless wit, scathing social comment under the guise of entertainment, and emotions so palpable in private or embarrassing moments that they are readily identified with.
Alan Bennett's many stage and television plays and his prose collection, Writing Home, have made him one of Britain's best-loved authors. He has a huge international reputation for his plays and films which include: Habeus Corpus, Kafka's Dick, Private Function, The Madness of George III and many others - often multi-prize winning. But it is his fiction (The Clothes They Stood Up In, Father! Father! Burning Bright and The Laying on of Hands - all Profile), now translated into many languages, and appearing on bestseller lists in Europe and the US as well as in Britain, which have brought him to the widest international readership.