Paul Bailey's remarkable account of growing up working class and gay in south London just after the war.
His father had come back from WWI to find that he'd been abandoned by his wife, and in early middle age, working as a road sweeper, he married a young servant girl. Bailey was one of three children brought up in such poverty that up to the middle of his adolescence he slept in the same bed as his father because of lack of space in the house. Nevertheless it was a happy, secure home which he portrays with great affection.
The second strand of the book is his discovery at grammar school (he was the brains of the family) that he's homosexual - a discovery which didn't go down well in rigidly conventional Battersea.
The book is extremely funny in places, evocative, and particularly moving in its portrait of the author's mother.
- Publication Date:
- 08 / 09 / 2004
- 129 x 198mm