We also should have mentioned that it was Ken Russell's birthday yesterday and Proud Gallery had a birthday party for him, doubling up as a launch for his new photographic exhibition. Proud Galleries are showing his Lost London Rediscovered 1951-1957 and we do recommend that you go and visit - you can also have a look at his Great Composers books published by us while you're there...
Elgar: The Erotic Variations
As for the party, our emissary from Peter Owen Publishers reported that it was a pretty full-on party, with the unheard-of (though not unimaginative) combination of beer and grapefruit juice on offer. But, as he did on Big Brother, Ken managed to find a good supply of champagne...
Ken Russell's Lost London Rediscovered
Meanwhile, a slightly different kind of evening took place at the London Review Bookshop. Our thanks goes not only to the bookshop itself, but also Doris Lessing, Virginia Ironside, Brian Aldiss and Christopher Priest (as well as compere Kit Maude) and all the guests who made sparkling and thought-provoking contributions to an evening celebrating the work of Anna Kavan. It was gratifying for us as publishers of Kavan's works - for decades now - to see so many admirers of the great lady there. The recent Guardian review did suggest that there is some kind of Kavan revival afoot and the sold-out notice was a sign of that: what was most interesting to us was the range of interest in Kavan's work. The general consensus was that Ice is the masterwork (though Doris Lessing holds The Parson in perhaps even greater esteem) but there was little doubt that the newly-published Guilty ranks with some of the best of her work. Interest in Kavan's short stories and early work was also high and we should point out to any of the people who attended last night reading our blog (or anyone interested in Kavan) that we do have some exclusive stock of her rarer items, so please get in touch if there is a particular title that you're looking for - we may well have a copy or two here. Furthermore, Peter Owen have been faithful to Kavan for many years, and are committed to keeping her works in print - till that Kavan revival really snowballs and she gets the recognition she deserves