Sunday, April 8, 2012

P H Newby - Any insights to add?

I've been trying to pull together an overview of Newby and references to published articles, interviews etc but haven't been able to track down very much at present.

If anyone has come across some interesting material, would you let me know so I can update my latest posting -

Thanks in advance


  1. Hi Karen -- thanks for the excellent blog about Newby. The bibliography is a very good start and has a few entries I hadn't heard of before. A few things you might want to add add are:

    A Masters thesis was written on Newby in 1969:

    Monah Geadah St.Leger 'The Search for Identity in Four of P.H. Newby's Novels', American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

    I'm sure this is hard to get hold of, but it was written, and it must be in some libraries (maybe only at the American University of Beirut though!)

    Secondly, Oxford Brookes University has most of Newby's manuscripts for his books available for researchers. There's a few boxes of drafts of novels, including Something to Answer For. Newby wrote his work up on his type-writer and then edited the text by hand.

    Thirdly, there is a short clip of Newby talking about the Booker Prize in this video: -- this is an extract from a much longer documentary all about Newby. It is kept in the BBC archive but hasn't been released. I contacted the Booker Prize Youtube account about the documentary and they said they would look into it but never got back to me. Would be very interesting to have it released and put on the internet. If you or others contacted the Youtube channel I'm sure we could make this happen (if a request comes from different areas it's more likely to have an effect!)

    The Guardian also wrote a good article about Newby in 2007

    (though this doesn't really add any new information, it is good to have a recent perspective on Newby. Though it's a shame all the attention is on Something to Answer For, as, though it's a very good book, I don't think it's Newby's best -- Graham Greene thought Kith was much better!)

    Think that's all I have at the moment. Will let you know if I think of more.

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment about an unpublished comment! I found this one in the spam folder for some reason. Thanks for all the information, it's a great resource.

    2. Phew, glad you found it -- thought I'd have to write it all out again!

  2. Following on from my previous comment -- some more things I've come across:

    Anon, 'A Novelist on His Own', The Times Literary Supplement. April, 1962, p. 232.

    Dickerson, Lucia. 'Portrait of the Artist as a Jung Man'. Kenyon Review, XXI (Winter, 1959), pp. 58-83.

    Rolo, C.J. 'The Picnic at Sakkara by P.H. Newby'. The New York Times Book Review. August 28, 1955, p. 4.

    Matthew, F.X. 'The Fiction of P.H. Newby'. Thesis. The University of Wiconsin, 1964.

    1. I wrote a long comment before this but it hasn't shown up -- I assumed it had to go through a moderation system before it was published. Let me know if you didn't get my first comment and I'll write it again.

  3. Gabriel - thank you for all these wonderful ideas. Obviously your research skills are significantly better than my own. If you don't object, I will add these to my blog posting (crediting you of course).

    1. You're welcome, and please do add any of these that you like. I thought of two more actually:

      Fraser, G. S. [i]P.H. Newby[/i] (Harlow: Longman, 1974). A few biographical details and discussion of Newby's work in a short book.

      More details about Newby's time as Managing Director of BBC Radio can also be found in Humphrey Carpenter, [i]The Envy of the World: Fifty Years of the BBC Third Programme and Radio 3 1946-1996[/i] (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1996).

      I'm the person who put together by the way. I'd quite like to have a section on further reading to help other people who want to find out more about Newby. Would it be okay if I used the references you found if I credit you and link back to your blog?