14 Facts About Alan Sillitoe


Alan Sillitoe FRSL was an English writer and one of the so-called "angry young men" of the 1950s.


Alan Sillitoe disliked the label, as did most of the other writers to whom it was applied.


Alan Sillitoe is best known for his debut novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and his early short story "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner", both of which were adapted into films.


Alan Sillitoe's father was illiterate, violent, and unsteady with his jobs, and the family was often on the brink of starvation.


Alan Sillitoe worked at the Raleigh factory for the next four years, spending his free time reading prodigiously and being a "serial lover of local girls".


Alan Sillitoe joined the Air Training Corps in 1942, then the Royal Air Force, albeit too late to serve in the Second World War.


Alan Sillitoe served as a wireless operator in Malaya during the Emergency.

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Robert Graves

In 1955, while living in Mallorca with the American poet Ruth Fainlight, whom he married in 1959, and in contact with the poet Robert Graves, Alan Sillitoe started work on Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, which was published in 1958.


Alan Sillitoe lived at various times in Kent, London and Montpellier.


In 1990 Alan Sillitoe was awarded an honorary degree by Nottingham Polytechnic, now Nottingham Trent University.


Alan Sillitoe appeared on Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4 on 25 January 2009.


Danny Brocklehurst was to adapt the book and Alan Sillitoe gave his blessing to the project, but Tony Richardson's estate and Woodfall Films prevented it from going ahead.


Alan Sillitoe was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1997.


Alan Sillitoe died of cancer on 25 April 2010 at Charing Cross Hospital in London.