New Alan Bennett Diaries for Autumn 2016

By Faber Editor, 19 January 2016

Faber & Faber and Profile Books are delighted to announce the joint acquisition of Alan Bennett’s Keeping On Keeping On, his diaries from 2005 to 2015.

Alan Bennett’s third collection of prose 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 also 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.

Profile Books and Faber & Faber have been publishing Alan Bennett as a joint partnership since 2005. Books by Bennett which have been published in this partnership include Untold Stories, The Uncommon Reader, The Lady in the Van, Smut, and Six Poets.

Bennett’s books have sold over 1.5 million copies In the UK alone and last autumn’s film tie-in of The Lady in the Van was a Sunday Times number one bestseller for 9 weeks.

UK and British Commonwealth rights were acquired from Charles Walker at United Agents. The new book will be published in October 2016.

Alan Bennett said: ‘I hope that like its two predecessors this is a book that one can dip in and out of. My readers will know what to expect – indeed I thought of calling it More of the Same.

Rebecca Gray, Commissioning Editor at Profile commented: ‘I would read Alan Bennett’s shopping list, so what a happy day to be allowed to read his latest diaries! His knowledge and experience are so wide and deep, from an unexpected film or the sinister aspects of an organic café to the pleasure of ancient architecture. His eye for detail and ear for a joke are ever acute, and of course his greatest strength is to make us laugh and cry at the same time, with just a few lines. This is one of those projects that’s enjoyable in every respect – working with Alan, with Faber and with the trade, it’ll feel like one big celebration.’

Dinah Wood, Editorial Director, Drama, Faber & Faber, said: ‘I can’t think of a more exciting book to be working on for autumn 2016. It contains everything one could wish for: wonderful jokes, social commentary, acute local observation, lyrical description; there’s a decade of diaries, introductions, a lecture, articles and a radio play. A tapestry of delights; the perfect prose anthology.’

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Alan Bennett

Bennett’s third collection of prose, following the phenomenal international bestsellers Untold Stories and Writing Home.