Dr Mari Hughes-Edwards, Reader in English Literature at Edge Hill University, is set to bring the creative and complex life of Liverpool author Beryl Bainbridge to life at a fascinating literary event.
Waterstones Liverpool and Bloomsbury Press have invited Mari to interview author, editor and Beryl Bainbridge’s former friend and private secretary, Brendan King, in their flagship Liverpool One store next Thursday. King will be reading from and discussing his Radio 4 Book of the Week, the first ever full biography of seminal Liverpool novelist Beryl Bainbridge entitled Beryl Bainbridge – Love By All Sorts Of Means.
A unique voice in fiction, and unforgettable in person, Beryl Bainbridge was famous for her gregarious drinking habits and her unconventional lifestyle. Yet, underneath the public image of a quirky eccentric lay a complex and sometimes traumatic private life that she rarely talked about and which was often only hinted at in her novels. In this first full-length biography, Brendan King draws on a mass of unpublished letters and diaries to reveal the real woman behind the popular image.
I am so excited that I will get to meet and speak to someone who worked so closely with such an important contemporary female writer. It will be a really intense and memorable discussion which will touch on Bainbridge’s difficult childhood in Formby, her career as a young actress at the Liverpool Playhouse, and her life as a single mother and writer in Camden Town. There is so much material here – her complex private life, her failed marriage to the painter Austin Davies, her affairs, and her longstanding relationship with her publisher, Colin Haycraft. I can’t wait to get talking!”
Brendan King worked for Bainbridge between 1987 and 2010, and even helped prepare her final novel, The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress, for publication after her death. The event will be a unique chance to explore the literary legacy of one of Liverpool, and the UK’s, most important contemporary novelists and to share memorable and personal anecdotes about one of the most intriguing writers of the last century.
Book your tickets here.