Sillitoe, Alan 1928–
Sillitoe, Alan 1928–
PERSONAL: Born March 4, 1928, in Nottingham, England; son of Christopher (a laborer) and Sabina (Burton) Sillitoe; married Ruth Fainlight (a poet, writer, and translator), November 19, 1959; children: David Nimrod, Susan (adopted). Education: Left school at age fourteen. Hobbies and other interests: Travel, shortwave radio.
ADDRESSES: Home—14 Ladbroke Terrace, London W11 3PG, England.
CAREER: Worked in a bicycle plant, 1942–46, in a plywood mill, and as a capstan-lathe operator; air traffic control assistant, 1945–46; freelance writer, 1948–. Military service: Royal Air Force, radio operator in Malaya, 1946–49.
MEMBER: Society of Authors, Royal Geographical Society (fellow), Writers Action Group, Savage Club.
AWARDS, HONORS: Author's Club prize, 1958, for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning; Hawthornden Prize for Literature, 1960, for The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner; honorary fellow, Manchester Polytechnic, 1977; honorary doctorates, Nottingham Polytechnic, 1990, Nottingham University, 1994, and De Montfort University (Leicester, England), 1998.
Without Beer or Bread, Outpost Publications (London, England), 1957.
The Rats and Other Poems, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1960.
A Falling Out of Love and Other Poems, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1964.
Shaman and Other Poems, Turret (London, England), 1968.
Love in the Environs of Voronezh, and Other Poems, Macmillan (London, England), 1968, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1969.
(With Ruth Fainlight and Ted Hughes) Poems, Rainbow Press (London, England), 1971.
Canto Two of the Rats, Ithaca (London, England), 1973.
Storm: New Poems, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1974.
Barbarians and Other Poems, Turret (London, England), 1974.
(With Ruth Fainlight) Words Broadsheet Nineteen, Words Press (Bramley, Surrey, England), 1975.
Snow on the North Side of Lucifer, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1979.
More Lucifer, Booth (Knotting, Bedfordshire, England), 1980.
Israel: Poems on a Hebrew Theme, Steam Press (London, England), 1981.
Sun before Departure, Grafton Books (London, England), 1984.
Tides and Stone Walls, Grafton Books (London, England), 1986.
Collected Poems, HarperCollins (London, England), 1993.
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (also see below), W.H. Allen (London, England), 1958, Knopf (New York, NY), 1959, revised edition, with an introduction by the author and commentary and notes by David Craig, Longmans, Green (London, England), 1968, new edition, HarperCollins (London, England), 1995.
The General (also see below), W.H. Allen (London, England), 1960, Knopf (New York, NY), 1961, published as Counterpoint, Avon (New York, NY), 1968.
Key to the Door, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1961, Knopf (New York, NY), 1962.
The Death of William Posters (first volume of trilogy), Knopf (New York, NY), 1965.
A Tree on Fire (second olume of trilogy), Macmillan (London, England), 1967, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1968.
A Start in Life, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1970, Scribner (New York, NY), 1971.
Travel in Nihilon, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1971, Scribner (New York, NY), 1972.
Raw Material, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1972, Scribner (New York, NY), 1973.
The Flame of Life (third volume of trilogy), W.H. Allen (London, England), 1974.
The Widower's Son, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1976, Harper (New York, NY), 1977.
The Storyteller, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1979, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1980.
Her Victory, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1982.
The Lost Flying Boat, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 1983.
Down from the Hill, Granada, 1984.
Life Goes On (sequel to A Start in Life), Grafton Books (London, England), 1985.
Out of the Whirlpool, Hutchinson (London, England), 1987.
The Open Door, HarperCollins (London, England), 1988.
Last Loves, Grafton Books (London, England), 1990, Chivers (Boston, MA), 1991.
Leonard's War: A Love Story, HarperCollins (London, England), 1991.
Snowstop, HarperCollins (London, England), 1994.
The Broken Chariot, Flamingo (London, England), 1998.
The German Numbers Woman, Flamingo (London, England), 2000.
Birthday, Flamingo (London, England), 2001. A Man of His Time, Flamingo (London, England), 2004.
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (includes "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner," "The Match," and "Uncle Ernest"; also see below), W.H. Allen (London, England), 1959, Knopf (New York, NY), 1960, bound with Sanctuary, by Theodore Dreiser, and related poems, edited by Roy Bentley, Book Society of Canada, 1967.
The Ragman's Daughter and Other Stories (also see below), W.H. Allen (London, England), 1961, Knopf (New York, NY), 1964.
Guzman Go Home and Other Stories, Macmillan (London, England), 1968, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1969.
A Sillitoe Selection, Longmans, Green (London, England), 1968.
Men, Women, and Children, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1973, Scribner (New York, NY), 1974.
The Second Chance and Other Stories, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1981.
The Far Side of the Street, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1988.
Collected Stories (includes "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner," "Fishing Boat Picture," "Mr. Raynor the School Teacher," and "The Magic Box"), HarperCollins (London, England), 1995.
Alligator Playground (includes "Alligator Playground," "Ron Delph and His Fight with King Arthur," and "A Matter of Teeth"), Flamingo (London, England), 1998.
New and Collected Stories, Robson Books (London, England), 2003.
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (based on his novel of the same title), Continental, 1960.
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (based on his short story of the same title), Continental, 1961.
The Ragman's Daughter (based on short story of same title), Penelope Films, 1972.
Also author of Che Guevara, 1968.
(Translator and adapter, with Ruth Fainlight) Lope de Vega, All Citizens Are Soldiers (two-act; first produced at Theatre Royal, Stratford, London, 1967), Macmillan (London, England), 1969, Dufour (Chester Springs, PA), 1970.
The Slot Machine (also see below), first produced as This Foreign Field, in London, England, at Round House, 1970.
Pit Strike (also see below), produced by British Broadcasting Corporation, 1977.
The Interview (also see below), produced at the Almost Free Theatre, 1978.
Three Plays: The Slot Machine, The Interview, Pit Strike, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1978.
The City Adventures of Marmalade Jim, Macmillan (London, England), 1967.
Big John and the Stars, Robson Books (London, England), 1977.
The Incredible Fencing Fleas, Robson Books (London, England), 1978.
Marmalade Jim on the Farm, Robson Books (London, England), 1979.
Marmalade Jim and the Fox, Robson Books (London, England), 1985.
Road to Volgograd, Knopf (New York, NY), 1964.
The Saxon Shore Way, Hutchinson (London, England), 1983.
Nottinghamshire, photography by David Sillitoe, Grafton Books (London, England), 1987.
Leading the Blind: A Century of Guide Book Travel, 1815–1914, Picador (New York, NY), 1995.
(Author of introduction) Arnold Bennett, Riceyman Steps, Pan Books (London, England), 1964.
(Author of introduction) Arnold Bennett, The Old Wives' Tale, Pan Books (London, England), 1964.
Mountains and Caverns: Selected Essays, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1975.
Down to the Bone (collection), Wheaton (Exeter, England), 1976.
Day Dream Communiqué, Sceptre (Knotting, Bedfordshire, England), 1977.
Every Day of the Week: An Alan Sillitoe Reader, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1987.
Life without Armour (autobiography), Macmillan (London, England), 1995.
A Flight of Arrows: Opinions, People, Places, Robson Books (London, England), 2003, Robson Books/Parkwest Publications (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: "I was twenty years old when I first tried to write, and it took ten years before I learned how to do it," remarked Alan Sillitoe in reference to Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, the novel that catapulted the thirty-year-old, self-educated Briton into the literary limelight. Described by New Yorker critic Anthony West as a "brilliant first book," Saturday Night and Sunday Morning broke new ground with its portrayal of "the true robust and earthy quality characteristic of English working-class life." Only one year later, Sillitoe was again the center of critical attention, this time for "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Run-ner," the title novella in a collection of short stories that also contained some frank representations of working-class life in Britain. Although he has since written numerous novels and short stories, as well as poems and plays, Sillitoe has almost always been evaluated in terms of these first two works.
On a thematic level, Sillitoe's works often center on an individual isolated from society, studying what the Guardian's Roy Perrot called "the spirit of the outsider, the dissenter, the man apart." But instead of limiting himself strictly to the psychological confines of this one person and allowing the rest of the world to remain somewhat shadowy, Sillitoe places his rebellious outsider in a gritty, distinctive milieu—Nottingham, an English industrial town—and the author's birthplace—where, as Charles Champlin explained in the Los Angeles Times, "the lower-middle and working classes rub, where breaking even looks like victory, and London is a long way South." This strong regionalism, reminiscent of the regionalism common in nineteenth-century British fiction, is one of the most noted features of Sillitoe's writing.
Sillitoe's world is populated with factory workers, shop girls, and other types not often depicted in English literature. Whether they are at home, at work, or relaxing in the pubs, these characters reveal themselves to be "unfamiliar with the great world of London or country houses or what is called high culture," explained Kendall Mitchell in Chicago's Tribune Books. "And they don't care—they have their lives to live, their marriages to make and wreck, their passions to pursue." As Champlin noted, "The cumulative impression of Sillitoe's people is of their strength and will to survive, however forces beyond their control blunt their prospects."
These "forces beyond their control" play a major role in the author's fiction; Sillitoe's conception of fate, however, differs from the classical one in that economic and social factors, not the whim of the gods, determine one's destiny. As James Jack Gindin wrote in Postwar British Fiction: New Accents and Attitudes: "Nothing really changes Sillitoe's jungle world. A man may win or lose, depending on the wheel of chance, but he cannot control the wheel or change his position. Often, too, the wheel is rigged, for the same numbers keep coming up as privilege and power keep reinforcing themselves." In short, commented Saul Maloff in Contemporary British Novelists, "for Sillitoe, class is fate."
Though his characters are rough-edged and his world is harsh, Washington Post's Daniel O'Neill credited the author with an "ability to blend cold-blooded rendering of the exterior world with insightful and sensitive representation of the inner workings of the characters' minds." According to Max Cosman of Commonweal, "such is Mr. Sillitoe's interest in his fellow man and such [is] his skill in compelling attention, that ignoble, or subnormal as his Nottinghamites are, they can [bring] forth compassion even in the midst of disapproval."
Sillitoe's practice of speaking through less "sophisticated" narrators has resulted in a style many critics have trouble classifying. As Champlin noted, "at times the essayist, social historian, and social reporter in Sillitoe seems simply to have chosen fiction as the best carrier of impressions he wants to leave and points he wants to make." Consequently, remarked Stanley Kauffmann in the New York Review of Books, his writing "fluctuates from straight hard prose to Nottingham slang to the most literary effusions, often all on the same page." Many reviewers, including Times Literary Supplement contributor John Lucas, have commented that in most other respects, Sillitoe's style is "peculiarly artless" in that "even the best of [the stories] work in a manner that is unusual or unorthodox." There is, for example, no particularly strong emphasis on plot in a Sillitoe story, no "half hidden thread that can be traced," no sudden flash or insight that makes everything clear; as Lucas stated, "nothing happens: there is no revelation, the story hardly seems to be a story at all." West also noticed that Sillitoe's stories are "so firmly rooted in experience, and so ably handled, that they do not seem to have been written at all; they seem to be occurrences of a most engrossing and absorbing kind." Gene Baro reached a similar assessment of the author, writing in the New York Herald Tribune Book Review that "Sillitoe exhibits … lucid design, pace, a gift for salty vernacular, an unerring eye for the telling gesture, a robust and yet a restrained sense of the comic…. All is achieved simply, matter-of-factly, without apparent striving for effect."
A Times Literary Supplement critic was especially impressed by Sillitoe's "integrity of style that never falsifies the writer's role—which is why, for instance, he refuses to go on 'like a penny-a-liner to force an ending' if inspiration stops before he knows what to do with the character he has created. There may not even be an ending to a Sillitoe story." John Updike noticed this same feature in Sillitoe's writing, pointing out in a New Republic article that his stories "have a wonderful way of going on, of not stopping short … that lifts us twice, and shows enviable assurance and abundance in the writer."
P.H. Johnson, writing in the New Statesman, also regarded Sillitoe as "highly gifted technically: he is an excellent story-teller, and his style is perfectly adapted to his subject-matter; he has literary tact and a sense of design." Saturday Review critic James Yaffe reported that among Sillitoe's "many wonderful qualities" are "a fluent, often brilliant command of language, an acute ear for dialect, [and] a virtuoso ability to describe the sight, sound, and smell of things."
Critics have often discussed Sillitoe's works in terms of whether he belonged to the literary tradition of his contemporaries, the "Angry Young Men" of 1950s and 1960s Britain, or of an earlier age, notably the American proletarian novelists of the 1930s. The Angry Young Men were known for their bitter attacks on the political and social establishment, which critics found comparable with Sillitoe's depictions of the struggles of the working class. Other critics, however, have noted that Sillitoe writes with an emphasis on compassion, which, they believe, makes him less an Angry Young Man with a special talent for describing the plight of the proletariat than a sentimentalist who idealizes the lives of his working-class heroes. Kauffmann felt Sillitoe to be a victim of the cultural "timelag" between the United States and England, and therefore rediscovered the themes that American writers such as John Steinbeck, Erskine Caldwell, Theodore Dreiser, and John Dos Passos dealt with in their fiction during the 1930s. In Contemporary British Novelists, Saul Maloff wrote that Sil-litoe's similarities to these authors made him "a historical surprise. In the utterly changed circumstances of the fifties and sixties, he has partially validated as art the 'proletarian novel' of the thirties; and standing eccentrically against the current driven by his defter contemporaries, he has made a working-class novel."
Allen R. Penner, writing in Contemporary Literature, noted the traces of old-fashioned literary tradition in Sillitoe's works, but pointed out their modern twist: "'The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner'… is written in a tradition in English fiction which dates at least from Elizabethan times, in … the rogue's tale, or thief's autobiography." In his opinion Sillitoe "has reversed the formula of the popular crime tale of fiction, wherein the reader enjoys vicariously witnessing the exploits of the outlaw and then has the morally reassuring pleasure of seeing the doors of the prison close upon him in the conclusion. Sillitoe begins his tale in prison, and he ends it before the doors have opened again, leaving us with the unsettling realization that the doors will indeed open and that the criminal will be released unreformed." This emphasis on unrepentant rebellion, wrote Penner, proves that "Sillitoe was never, really, simply an 'angry young man.' His hostility was not a transitory emotion of youth, but a permanent rancor well grounded in class hatred. 'The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner' contains the seeds of the revolutionary philosophy which would eventually attain full growth in his works."
Other critics have not been so quick to dismiss Silli-toe's connections to the Angry Young Men. Commenting in the New York Times Book Review, Malcolm Bradbury noted that "if the heroes of some … English novels are angry young men, Mr. Sillitoe is raging; and though he doesn't know it, he is raging for much the same reasons." Champlin remarked that Sillitoe's emergence was "a sharp signaling of an end to quiet acceptance of the way things are. It was a protest, fueled by the war, against the stratified status quo…. Unlike some of Britain's angry young men who have matured and prospered into more conservative postures, Sillitoe remains the poet of the anonymous millions in the council flats and the cold-water attached houses, noting the ignored, remembering the half-forgotten."
Though John R. Clark of the Saturday Review also saw Sillitoe as an Angry Young Man, he felt that "his anger and fictions have altered with time. In [his] early work there was something single-minded and intense in the actions and scenes, particularly in the shorter novels." On the other hand, more recent "novels reveal a broader social and political horizon. Sillitoe's characters not only privately rebel but become dedicated to larger 'movements.'" Sillitoe told Igor Hajek in a Nation interview that he is not at all dismayed by the fact that he is best known for his earliest works, especially Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner." "I think those people [who remember me primarily as the author of 'The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner'] are absolutely right," he said. "This story of a working-class youth is at the same time the statement of my artistic integrity. I shall never write anything to uphold this Establishment and this society. And I'm ready to stick to my principles even to a self-damaging extent."
Some thirty years after the publication of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and its sequel, Key to the Door, Sillitoe returned to the characters introduced in those books. The Open Door centers on Brian Seaton, the older brother of Saturday Night's protagonist Arthur Seaton. Brian is "the most closely autobiographical of Sillitoe's characters," according to World Literature Today reviewer William Hutchings. Like the author, Brian escapes his working-class home town by joining the army and serving as a radio operator in Malaya. Also like Sillitoe, Brian discovers upon his return to England that he has contracted tuberculosis. "His illness dominates the first two-thirds of the novel, as … Brian gains a heightened awareness of his own mortality," related Hutchings. Parallels to Sillitoe's life continue as Brian uses his convalescence to read voraciously and to realize his ambition to become a writer. Hutchings found that together, Key to the Door and The Open Door "constitute an extraordinarily intimate fictional 'portrait of the artist as a young man.'" Brian Morton also commented very favorably on the book, writing in the Times Literary Supplement that The Open Door "is an extraordinary, almost symphonic development of deceptively familiar materials, and confirms [Sillitoe's] standing as one of Britain's most powerful and sophisticated fiction-writers."
In 1995, Sillitoe published the memoir Life without Armour, relating in nonfiction form the story of his childhood, his military service, his struggle with tuberculosis, and his eventual triumph as a writer. Ironically, his illness provided the means for him to realize his artistic dreams, as his small disability pension made it possible for him to support himself in the days before his writing sold. Several reviewers note that the autobiography's early sections are its best; John Melmoth noted in Times Literary Supplement that "the squalor of [Silli-toe's] upbringing is captured with a novelistic verve that later sections of the book fail to match. Deprivation makes good copy; hard work and dedication—as ever—write white." Nicholas Wollaston found the author's life story inspirational, and comments that it is "the more impressive for being told in a simple, almost biblical voice…. There was iron in his soul as faith and energy drove him on, fighting solitude and publishers' indifference."
Sillitoe's Collected Stories also came out in 1995, featuring works such as "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner," "Mr. Raynor the School Teacher," and "The Magic Box." "Taken individually," wrote a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, "the stories in this collection are searing and dead-on. Taken collectively, they render Sillitoe's pessimism and vitriol hard to take." The situations in which Sillitoe places his characters are difficult; Mr. Raynor, for example, is a teacher who ogles his students, and one of them is later murdered by her boyfriend. In "The Magic Box" and "Fishing Boat Picture," couples have to deal with the difficulties of marriage. Brad Hooper, writing for Booklist, declared the collection "a needed roundup of a master's work."
Though best known for his fiction, Sillitoe has also produced a number of travel guides. He became a collector of guide books from the nineteenth century, and has used those texts to create Leading the Blind: A Century of Guide Book Travel, 1815–1914. "Sillitoe has selected some of the choiciest bits of advice from a wide array of guide books to give us the flavour of travel," wrote Richard Mullen in Contemporary Review. The reviewer noted that Sillitoe chose to leave out the colored illustrations from more-modern guide books, inspiring the reader to use more of their intellect and imagination. "This is a delightful book," Mullen concluded, "either for the bedside traveller or a real traveller."
In 1998, Sillitoe returned to fiction with a novella and collection of short stories titled Alligator Playground. The title story deals with the promiscuous social scene of London's literati, and the eventual marriage of a misogynist and a former lesbian. "The result," commented James Urquhart in New Statesman & Society, "has the circularity of a morality tale but lacks any sense of empathy or moral structure." Despite this complaint, Urquhart continued, "Happily the other eight tales restore faith." The stories, including "Ron Delph and His Fight with King Arthur," a tale of adolescent anxieties, and "A Matter of Teeth," which justifies simultaneous affairs, explore a more middle-class terrain than his previous works.
The German Numbers Woman, Sillitoe's 2000 novel, casts a blind short-wave radio operator as a hero who undermines a drug smuggling scheme and rescues the girl at the end. Howard, a World War II Royal Air Force veteran, blinded in combat, has become a stoic, and almost resents the attentions of his wife. Instead of focusing on life, he turns his passions toward Morse code and eavesdrops on conversations over his short-wave radio. His wife introduces him to a drug runner, and when Howard discovers that one of the voices he hears on the radio will be put in danger by one of the latest drug schemes, he asks to be taken along. Patrick Sullivan, writing for Library Journal, called The German Numbers Woman an "ambitious but flawed novel," but a reviewer from Publishers Weekly stated that Sillitoe's "alienated hero—older, wizened, subdued—is still a marvelous creation."
In his Nation interview, Sillitoe declared his opinion that "a writer never stands still. When you are young, everything is simple, but I am not young any more, [which] means that I am leaving a lot of simplicities behind. Basic beliefs stay, but things now look more complex." In short, concluded Sillitoe, "Each individual has to make a choice: either to accept this society or stand up against it…. In this country, as in any other, a writer is liked if he is loyal to the system. But it is the writer's duty in a sense to be disloyal. In the modern world, he is one of the few people who are listened to, and his primary loyalty should be to his integrity and to his talent. He can speak up in many ways; the best way is to write a book."
Sillitoe's Birthday is the fourth novel about the family of his best-known character, the "notoriously rowdy working-class protagonist Arthur Seaton." A contributor to Publishers Weekly decreed that the writing shows that "Sillitoe is no longer the aggressive, take-no-prisoners writer who brought these characters to life so provocatively half a century ago, but his craftsmanship remains high and his insights are always sharp." Although in Birthday Sillitoe "does meander some," the critic added, "in this novel the literary journey more than justifies the occasional side trip." Allan Massie, in a review for Spectator, declared Birthday to be "a humane book, often funny; an affirmation of the—provincial?—values of hard work, decency, respect for others, honesty between people."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Atherton, Stanley S., Alan Sillitoe: A Critical Assessment, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1979.
Gerard, David, Alan Sillitoe: A Bibliography, Meckler (Westport, CT), 1988.
Gindin, James Jack, Postwar British Fiction: New Accents and Attitudes, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1976.
Hanson, Gillian Mary, Understanding Alan Sillitoe, University of South Carolina Press (Columbia, SC), 1997.
Penner, Richard, Alan Sillitoe ("English Author" series), Twayne (New York, NY), 1972.
Sawkins, John, The Long Apprenticeship: Alienation in the Early Work of Alan Sillitoe, Peter Lang (Oxford, England), 2001.
Shapiro, Charles, editor, Contemporary British Novelists, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 1965.
Vaverka, Ronald Dee, Commitment as Art: A Marxist Critique of a Selection of Alan Sillitoe's Political Fiction, Almqvist & Wiksell (Stockholm, Sweden), 1978.
Booklist, September 15, 1996, Brad Hooper, review of Collected Stories, p. 222.
Books and Bookmen, December, 1973, pp. 42-46.
British Book News, April, 1985, p. 237.
Commonweal, September 4, 1959; April 29, 1960; March 27, 1964.
Contemporary Literature, Volume X, number 2, 1969; October, 1987, p. 214.
Contemporary Review, February, 1996, Richard Mullen, review of Leading the Blind: A Century of Guide Book Travel, 1815–1914, p. 110.
Dalhousie Review, autumn, 1968, pp. 324-331.
Four Quarters, November, 1971, pp. 3-10.
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), September 7, 1985.
Guardian, September 25, 1959.
Journal of Narrative Technique, number 3, 1980, pp. 170-185.
Library Journal, September 15, 1996, Albert E. Wilhelm, review of Collected Stories, p. 100; February 15, 2000, Patrick Sullivan, review of The German Numbers Woman, p. 200.
Listener, November 11, 1982, p. 27.
Literature and Language, spring, 1962, pp. 35-48.
Literature-Film Quarterly, number 3, 1981, pp. 161-188.
London Review of Books, November 17, 1983, pp. 12-13; December 5, 1985, pp. 22-23; December 20, 1985, pp. 19-20.
Los Angeles Times, October 1, 1980; April 21, 1981.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, November 21, 1982.
Milwaukee Journal, November 10, 1974.
Nation, January 27, 1969, Igor Hajek, interview with Alan Sillitoe.
Neophilologus, April, 1981, pp. 308-319.
New Republic, August 24, 1959; May 9, 1960.
New Statesman, October 3, 1959; January 30, 1998, review of Alligator Playground, p. 47.
New Statesman & Society, March 10, 1989, p. 36; July 21, 1995, p. 39; July 30, 1998, James Urquhart, review of Alligator Playground, p. 47.
New Yorker, September 5, 1959, Anthony West, review of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning; June 11, 1960; September 22, 1980, review of The Storyteller, p. 157.
New York Herald Tribune Book Review, August 16, 1959; May 29, 1960.
New York Review of Books, March 5, 1964, review by Stanley Kauffmann.
New York Times Book Review, August 16, 1959; April 10, 1960; December 14, 1969, pp. 44-45; September 28, 1980; April 19, 1981, pp. 6, 25; December 12, 1982, pp. 15, 28; April 24, 1988, p. 34.
Observer (London, England), February 26, 1989, p. 47; May 13, 1990, p. 58; September 29, 1991, p. 61; July 23, 1995, p. 14.
Prairie Schooner, winter, 1974–75, review by Robert S. Haller, pp. 151-158.
Publishers Weekly, August 1, 1980, review of The Storyteller, p. 45; August 12, 1996, review of Life without Armour, p. 74; August 26, 1996, review of Collected Stories, p. 90; January 3, 2000, review of The German Numbers Woman, p. 59; April 22, 2002, review of Birthday, p. 51.
San Francisco Chronicle, November 29, 1959; May 1, 1960.
Saturday Review, September 5, 1959; April 16, 1960; January 25, 1964; November 22, 1969, p. 86; October 16, 1971; September, 1980, David Bell, review of The Storyteller, p. 72.
Sewanee Review, summer, 1975.
Spectator, September 25, 1959; April 7, 2001, Allan Massie, review of Birthday, p. 32.
Studies in Short Fiction, number 4, 1966–67, pp. 350-351; winter, 1975, pp. 9-14.
Studies in the Novel, winter, 1973, pp. 469-482.
Sunday Times (London, England), February 26, 1989, p. G6.
Sunday Times Magazine (London, England), March 1, 1989, pp. 36, 38.
Time, April 18, 1960.
Times (London, England), November 10, 1983; November 15, 1984; October 10, 1985; February 23, 1989, p. 19.
Times Educational Supplement, July 4, 1993, p. 10; July 7, 1995, p. 12.
Times Literary Supplement, October 2, 1959; October 24, 1968, p. 1193; October 19, 1973; January 15, 1981; January 23, 1981, p. 76; October 15, 1982; November 11, 1983; November 16, 1984, p. 1301; June 7, 1985; December 6, 1985, p. 1407; April 7, 1989, Brian Morton, review of The Open Door, p. 364; May 18, 1990, D.A.N. Jones, review of Last Loves, p. 535; October 11, 1991, Candice Rodd, review of Leonard's War, p. 24; May 14, 1993, Sean O'Brien, review of Snowstop, p. 23; August 12, 1994, John Lucas, review of Collected Poems, p. 24; August 18, 1995, John Melmoth, review of Life without Armour and Collected Stories, p. 22; January 16, 1998, Henry Hitchings, review of Alligator Playground, p. 21; October 16, 1998, Neil Powell, review of The Broken Chariot, p. 24.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), October 26, 1980; August 31, 1981.
Washington Post, June 2, 1981; December 10, 1982; April 13, 1988, p. 8.
Washington Post Book World, October 26, 1980.
World Literature Today, summer, 1990, p. 465; spring, 1991, pp. 304-305; summer-autumn, 2002, p. 94.
Yale Review, September, 1959.