I just found out that Alan Sillitoe died: April 25th, aged 82. He was one of the UK literati's Angry Young Men, one of those 1950s writers who deliberately turned their backs on tradition. He was a Nottingham lad, who wrote about working men--not the kind of thing Polite Writers did back in the day, unless the working men (and, yes, it was always men) were trying to better themselves.
Sillitoe wrote Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, and The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner. I'm not sure we would have seen eye to eye, but I would like to have met him. You might recognise one of his most famous aphorisms: "Don't let the bastards grind you down." Though I kind of like "It's a fine life, if you don't weaken."
Note: on Saturday, May 15th, I'm going off the grid for three weeks: unplugging my ethernet cable and going cold turkey: no email, no blog, no Facebook, no Twitter. If you have anything you need to talk to me about, do it before then. I'll post a reminder on Friday. Basically I'm not going to be around May 15th - June 6th. Any email I get during that time I'll just delete when I plug back in--so, eh, don't send anything between the 15th and the 6th.