META NAME="Forgotten Classics" CONTENT="neglected novels forgotten authors."

forgotten classics

'Reading neglected writers so you don't have to' A Time Out column and a blog for books that seem to be undeservedly forgotten, from John Galsworthy to Rose Macaulay, from Amos Tutuola to DH Lawrence, from W. Somerset Maugham to Fanny Burney. What books do you think we should revive? If you love a writer who has lapsed in popularity please let me know! Are my choices controversial?

Friday, May 05, 2006

classix nouveaux

While I was on the staff at Time Out I tried to get people interested in doing a series: Time Out London Classics. We would reprint great London novels and short story collections that had fallen out of print for one reason or another. My first suggested titles included the following:

• I Was Dora Suarez by Derek Raymond (or one of the other Factory novels)
• Robinson by Christopher Petit
• Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes (or another MacInnes novel)
• High Rise by JG Ballard
• The Body by William Sansom (also his collections of stories)
• After London by Richard Jefferies
• Vail by Trevor Hoyle

Time Out had already ventured into fiction in partnership with Penguin. Maria Lexton had edited The Time Out Book of London Short Stories. I added volumes for New York and Paris as well as London Vol 2. Then there were two volumes of Neonlit: Time Out Book of New Writing, published by Quartet. But, alas, no one at Penguin could be convinced that Time Out London Classics was a good idea. One or two of those books are back in print now anyway, and I have no idea if they qualify as classics. I hate the idea of a canon and would worry if a book I championed was coralled into one, but I'd rather good books be in print than available only from secondhand bookshops according to luck.


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