Keeping On Keeping On

Alan Bennett
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ISBN 9780571337002 Format Hardback
Published 20/10/2016 Length 736 pages

About Book

"I seem to have banged on this year rather more than usual. I make no apology for that, nor am I nervous that it will it make a jot of difference. I shall still be thought to be kindly, cosy and essentially harmless. I am in the pigeon-hole marked 'no threat' and did I stab Judi Dench with a pitchfork I should still be a teddy bear."

Alan Bennett's third collection of prose Keeping On Keeping On follows in the footsteps of the phenomenally successful Writing Home and Untold Stories, each published ten years apart. This latest collection contains Bennett's peerless diaries 2005 to 2015, reflecting on a decade that saw four premieres at the National Theatre (The Habit of Art, People, Hymn and Cocktail Sticks), a West End double-bill transfer, and the films of The History Boys and The Lady in the Van. There's a provocative sermon on private education given before the University at King's College Chapel, Cambridge, and 'Baffled at a Bookcase' offers a passionate defence of the public library. The book includes Denmark Hill, a darkly comic radio play set in suburban south London, as well as Bennett's reflections on a quarter of a century's collaboration with Nicholas Hytner.

This is an engaging, humane, sharp, funny and unforgettable record of life according to the inimitable Alan Bennett.


"Wry and eloquent ... screamingly funny... his sentences are always beautiful." Miranda Sawyer. Observer

"Alan Bennett, with his combination of pitiless observation and gentle understatement, is perhaps the best-loved of English writers alive today." Sunday Telegraph

"Intelligent, educated, engaging, humane, self-aware, cantankerous and irresistibly funny." John Carey, Sunday Times 

"Not only my book of the year, it is my book of the decade." Nigel Slater on Untold Stories
  • About Alan Bennett

    Alan Bennett has been one of our leading dramatists since the success of Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s. His television series Talking Heads has become a modern-day classic, as have many of his works for the stage including Forty Years On, The Lady in the Van (together with the screenplay), A Question of Attribution, The Madness of George III (together with the Oscar-nominated screenplay The Madness of King George), andan adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. At the National Theatre, London, The History Boys (also a screenplay) won numerous awards including Evening Standard and Critics' Circle awards for Best Play, an Olivier for Best New Play and the South Bank Award. On Broadway,The History Boys won five New York Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critics' Circle Awards, a New York Drama Critics' Award, a New York Drama League Award and six Tonys. The Habit of Art opened at the National in 2009; in 2012, People, as well as the two short plays Hymn and Cocktail Sticks, was also staged there. 

    Alan Bennett's collection of prose, Keeping On Keeping On, publishes in October 2016. Of his two previous collections, Writing Home was a number one bestseller and Untold Stories won the PEN/Ackerley Prize for autobiography, 2006. Bennett's Six Poets, Hardy to Larkin, An Anthology, was published in 2014. Fiction includes The Uncommon Reader and Smut: Two Unseemly Stories.

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