'These new stories give strong support to the claim that their author is 'one of the very few left-wing imaginative writers of literary ability who have t betrayed their principles'...Reflecting on his achievements in a very long career, one cant help thinking that Upward presents in his work a reliable record of an extraordinary period of history. His unique blending of the past, in art as well as in politics, still has lessons for the future. We should be grateful that a devoted artist has lived so intensely through so much' - From the Introduction by Frank Kermode.The first four of these new short stories by Edward Upward, w in his 99th year, form a closely linked sequence - almost a single story - and could be described as 'realistic dreams'. They are vivid and often satirical, the product of long experience, but are neither cynical r finally pessimistic. In certain inherited ways they resemble Upward's earlier fantasies The Railway Accident and Journey to the Border , both also published by Enitharmon. Of the last two stories, Fred and Lil is straightforwardly realistic and humanly sympathetic, while With Alan to the Fair deals with love, hate and political extremism in serious and in highly comical episodes.
Edward Upward was born in 1903. While at Cambridge he created with Christopher Isherwood a series of stories about the fictitious village of Mortmere. After graduating from Cambridge he was a private tutor and for thirty years a schoolmaster, until his retirement in 1961. His first novel, Journey to the Border, was published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press in 1938 and between 1962 and 1977 Heinemann published his trilogy The Spiral Ascent. Upward's The Railway Accident and Other Stories was a Penguin Classic. Since 1994 Enitharmon has been his exclusive publisher, issuing a series of critically acclaimed stories as well as memoirs of Isherwood and Auden.