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‘[The White Father] was to be a State of the Nation novel, about the end of Empire, contrasting the last generation of men who’d served it, and the new one which was just breaking out from the long dullness of the post-war years, but didn’t really know where it was going…’ Julian Mitchell, from his new Preface
Mitchell’s fourth novel, published in 1964, earned him both the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award. Its protagonist Hugh Shrieve is District Officer in charge of the Ngulu, a small tribe in an African colony on the verge of independence. Fearing ‘his’ tribe will be overlooked in the politics of a constitutional conference set to take place in London, Hugh returns to England for the first time in years. But there he soon feels lost in his own country.
‘An impressively accurate account of British society in the sixties.’ Montreal Gazette
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