Peake, Tony 1951-
PEAKE, Tony 1951-
Born September 14, 1951, in Johannesburg, South Africa; son of Bladon (a director) and Irene (Hadland) Peake; married Irene Wood, 1971 (divorced); partner of Peter Cartwright (an actor); children: Zachariah, Sarah. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Rhodes University, B.A. (honors), 1973.
Agent—David Miller, Rogers, Coleridge & White, 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN, England. E-mail—[email protected].
Peake Associates, London, England, literary agent, 1985—. Writer.
A Summer Tide, Abacus (London, England), 1993.
(Editor) Seduction (short-story anthology), Serpent's Tail (London, England), 1994.
Son to the Father, Little, Brown (London, England), 1995.
Contributor of short stories to anthologies, including Winter's Tales 7, Constable (London, England), 1991; Winter's Tales 8, Constable (London, England); 1992; Winter's Tales 9, Constable (London, England), 1993; The Penguin Book of Contemporary South African Short Stories, Penguin (London, England), 1993; Winter's Tales 10, Constable (London, England), 1994; The Mammoth Book of Gay Short Stories, Robinson (London, England), 1997; and The Gay Times Book of Short Stories, Gay Times Books (London, England), 2000.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
A novel and short stories.
Tony Peake is a London-based literary agent and author of his own body of short stories, novels, and other works. His fiction explores the varieties of human relationship in modern-day England and South Africa. In Son to the Father, for instance, the central character, Peter Smallwood, is forced to evaluate his sexual identity and his roles as both son and stepfather to a precocious teenager. Richmond Review correspondent Julian MacMillan noted that the book's passages "capture perfectly what it is to be youngish and struggling in modern-day London." MacMillan added: "In Son to the Father, Tony Peake has created a complex inner journey towards a sense of self-identity."
Peake is editor of an anthology of short stories entitled Seduction. As the title suggests, the pieces in the collection all take as their themes instances of seduction or attempted seduction, not exclusively amorous or romantic. A Kirkus Reviews critic found the book "marred by pretentious prose and an overly studied approach," but Observer contributor Kate Kellaway declared the book "unpredictable, sometimes alarming, always entertaining." Kellaway concluded: "This is nice work … energetic, provocative, not to be taken lying down."
Peake is best known in America for his biography, Derek Jarman. During the latter years of Jarman's life, Peake served as his agent and formed a friendship with the eccentric filmmaker. Peake was therefore in a superior position in terms of writing about Jarman; in fact, he received the help of Jarman's family and other close friends. The resulting biography "describes a man who responded to the turmoil and antigay sentiment of late twentieth-century Britain with celebration and art," to quote Christina Cho in the New York Times Book Review. Critics commended Peake for revealing the contradictions in Jarman's life and for his commentary on Jarman's films and his contributions to other filmmakers's works. As Thom Nickels put it in the Lambda Book Report, Peake "presents Derek Jarman's life the way he would have wanted it: unsentimentally and intelligently, with no time for regrets." In the Advocate, James Withers likewise felt that the biography "shines because it returns to the art, in which all Jarman's contradictions found their meaning." Both Christina Cho and Stephen F. Rees in Library Journal declared that Derek Jarman provides a "definitive" look at the controversial artist.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Advocate, November 21, 2000, James Withers, review of Derek Jarman, p. 114.
Book, November, 2000, Mikita Brottman, review of Derek Jarman, p. 76.
Economist (U.S.), November 27, 1999, review of Derek Jarman, p. 90.
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 1994, review of Seduction, p. 1489.
Lambda Book Report, December, 2000, Thom Nickels, "Queer Bohemia," p. 15.
Library Journal, September 1, 2000, Stephen F. Rees, review of Derek Jarman, p. 213.
New York Times, January 25, 1995, Margo Jefferson, "Ulysses and Sirens Defined the Genre," p. C17.
New York Times Book Review, November 5, 2000, Christina Cho, review of Derek Jarman, p. 22.
Observer (London), February 13, 1994, Kate Kellaway, review of Seduction, p. 21.
Publishers Weekly, January 2, 1995, review of Seduction, p. 70.
Times Educational Supplement, September 8, 1995, Frances Spalding, review of Son to the Father, p. 12.
BookReporter,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (May 21, 2003), Jana Siciliano, review of Derek Jarman.
Richmond Review,http://richmondreview.co.uk/books/ (January 28, 2003), Julian MacMillan, review of Son to the Father.
Tony Peake Home Page,http://www.tonypeake.com/ (May 21, 2004).