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Goldsboro Books


Travelling People

Travelling People

by B. S. Johnson

Publisher Constable


  • Unsigned
  • UK First Edition
  • First Printing
  • Hardcover

Regular price £650.00
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About the book

His first novel, Travelling People, won the Gregory Award for 1963. In a preface to the book, he wrote, "I decided that one style for one novel was a convention I resented most strongly: it was perhaps comparable to eating a meal in which each course had been cooked in the same manner. The style of each chapter should spring naturally from its subject matter." Thus Travelling People employs eight separate styles for its nine chapters, including a letter, journal extracts, and a film script. One chapter contains the interior monologue of an old man prone to heart attacks. First the author uses a random grey pattern to indicate sleep or recuperative unconsciousness, and then later, black, when the old man dies. (Most obvious is Johnsons acknowledged debt to an eighteenth-century predecessor, Laurence Sterne, whose celebrated Tristam Shandy also contained black pages.)

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About the Author

B. S. Johnson

Bryan Stanley Johnson was born in 1933, and was an English experimental novelist, poet and literary critic. He also produced television programmes and made films.

Once he graduated from Kings College London, Johnson wrote a series of increasingly experimental and often acutely personal novels that would now be considered visual writing.

After his first few published novels, Johnson's work became progressively even more experimental. The Unfortunates (1969) was published in a box with no binding (readers could assemble the book any way they liked, apart from the chapters marked 'First' and 'Last' which did indicate preferred terminal points) and House Mother Normal was written in purely chronological order such that the various characters' thoughts and experiences would cross each other and become intertwined, not just page by page, but sentence by sentence.

He won the Eric Gregory Award in 1962.

Johnson also made numerous experimental films, published poetry, and wrote reviews, short stories and plays. For many years he was the poetry editor of Transatlantic Review.

  • Professionally Packed

    All of our books that have a dust wrapper are covered in clear protective, removable film and are packed professionally in bubble wrap and a box for shipping so that they reach you in perfect condition.

  • Book Condition & Notes

    Constable, London, 1963. Hardback. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. First Edition. Hardback, with dustjacket. Both have very minor bump to spine ends; there is slight shelf-marking to the back of the dustjacket; otherwise both fine. This was A. S. Byatt's copy with her signature to FEP.

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