Sugar and Rum by BARRY UNSWORTH

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A "powerfully done" (Times Literary Supplement) and tantalizingly semi-autobiographical novel from the author of the Booker Prize-winning Sacred Hunger.
Unable to work on his novel about Liverpool's slave trade, Benson is teaching creative writing and wandering the city. The pupils who bring him their fantasies are a sad, dispossessed group with varying degrees of literary talent. Caught up in a series of bizarre events, Benson nevertheless finds his own imagination sparked by an encounter with two old army colleagues: Thompson, down-and-out and homeless; and Slater, a fabulously wealthy entrepreneur. In trying to heal old wounds, Benson unleashes a plan that just may blow up in his face. "There is a violent resolution to this obsessive and provocative novel that examines the abscesses and abysses beneath the violence of urban life and offers a quixotic personal answer." — The Times [London] "Fine descriptive writing and spirited humanity." — The Guardian Published for the first time in the United States Booker Prize-winning author of Sacred Hunger



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Barry Unsworth was born in Wingate, England on August 10, 1930. He received an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Manchester in 1951. He started out writing short stories, but soon switched to novels. His first novel, The Partnership, was published in 1966. He wrote 17 novels during his lifetime including Stone Virgin, Losing Nelson, The Songs of the Kings, Land of Marvels, and The Quality of Mercy. Sacred Hunger won a Booker Prize in 1992. Morality Play and Pascali's Island were both made into feature films. He died from lung cancer on June 5, 2012 at the age of 81.
Published January 1, 1988 by HAMISH HAMILTON. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Examples of their execrable jottings are the one light note in a text otherwise dominated by dark images: a suicide in the book's opening pages, Benson's memories of the Anzio campaign during WW II, and the death of his best friend in ambush, an event for which Benson holds himself responsible.

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