Hesperus Press, Paperback, 9781843914464, 218pp.
Publication Date: November 2009
Mirra Ginsburg is a distinguished translator of Russian and Yiddish works by such well-known authors as Mikhail Bulgakov, Isaac Babel, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Editor and translator of three anthologies of Soviet science fiction, she has also edited and translated A Soviet Heretic: Essays by Yevgeny Zamyatin, and History of Soviet Literature by Vera Alexandrova.
Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) was a Russian author and playwright - one of the few writers allowed to publish during the Stalin era. His works include The Master and Margarita, Heart of a Dog, and the biography, Life of Mr. de Moliere.
Alan Sillitoe grew up in the slums of the industrial city of Nottingham. He began to write while in the Royal Air Force, stationed in Malaya. After the war he went to Majorca, where he became a friend of Robert Graves, who encouraged him to write Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958). The N.Y. Herald Tribune said: "Alan Sillitoe has given us one of the better pictures of English working-class life since Arnold Bennett dealt with the Five Towns or D. H. Lawrence with Nottingham collieries." His author's fee for the manuscript rescued him and his wife, the American poet Ruth Fainlight, from poverty and enabled him to afford the balanced diet to which he attributes his recovery from tuberculosis. Saturday Night won the Author's Club Prize for the best British novel of 1958 and was made into a superb movie in 1960. His second book, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1959), was awarded Britain's Hawthornden Prize for 1960 and was made into an excellent film in 1962. William Posters is Sillitoe's play on words of the British "Bill Posters Will Be Prosecuted" (U.S. version---"Post No Bills"), a sentence that has haunted him. The Death of William Posters (1965) is a novel about yet another young man who must escape from the philistinism of the social milieu to which he has been born. Tree on Fire (1967), a novel with autobiographical elements, was published in Britain in 1968. Travels in Nihilon (1971) is a satirical novel about a country controlled by nihilism. Raw Material (1972) is a fictionalized memoir of his childhood and an exploration of the making of a writer.