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Something to Answer For

P. H. Newby

The winner of the inaugural Booker Prize in 1969, Something to Answer For is a humorous, macabre and beautifully intricate novel set in Egypt during the Suez Crisis.

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Winner of the inaugural Booker Prize in 1969.

It is 1956 and Townrow is in Port Said – of these two facts he’s reasonably certain. He has been summoned by the widow of his deceased friend, Elie Khoury. She is convinced that Elie was murdered, but nobody seems to agree with her. What about Leah Strauss, the mistress? And the invading British paratroops? Only an Englishman, surely, would take for granted that the British have behaved themselves. In this disorientating world Townrow must assess the rules by which he has been living his life – to wonder whether he, too, may have something to answer for . . .

Critic Reviews

Beautifully written, shot through with crisp, mordant wit.

Sam Jordison, Guardian
Critic Reviews

Newby deserved, and deserves, more attention. Graham Greene called him “a fine writer who has never had the full recognition that he deserves,” and that’s as true now as it was in Newby’s lifetime . . . Something to Answer For is set in the Egypt of 1956, during the Suez Crisis, and it boasts a wonderful sense of place.

Paris Review
Critic Reviews

A vividly exciting novel.

Sunday Telegraph
Critic Reviews

Masterly . . . Egypt at the time of Suez is not the best place to mislay your background, have a mysteriously motivated love affair, or sort out the oddities of an old friend’s death. But Mr. Newby has a sure touch with the bizarre, and a pleasing comic seriousness.

Sunday Telegraph
P. H.Newby

P. H. Newby (1918-1997) was an English novelist and broadcasting administrator. His first novel, A Journey into the Interior, was published in l946. He was awarded the Somerset Maugham Prize in 1948, and he was the first winner of the Booker (now Man Booker) Prize – his novel Something to Answer For received the inaugural award in 1969.

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P. H.Newby