0 Have your say A Far Cry from Kensington is set precisely in 1954 and ’55. It is narrated by a woman called Nancy Hawkins who is looking back, decades on from the 1950s, on her early life. The young Mrs Hawkins in 1954 is a war-widow and 28 years old (Spark was 26 in 1954 and separated from her husband). Mrs Hawkins is very fat: “I was massive in size, strong-muscled, huge-bosomed, with wide hips, hefty long legs, a bulging belly and fat backside.” Mrs Hawkins – which is how she is referred to through most of the novel – is living in a boarding house in Kensington. The “Far Cry” of the title reflects the distance she has travelled since then. Her reminiscences centre around life in the house, with its assorted, eccentric tenants, and her rackety career in two London publishing houses, from the small and indigent (the Ullswater Press) to the large and prosperous (Mackintosh & Tooley) and, eventually, an intellectual magazine called the Highgate Review. However, what seems aleatory and anecdotal soon begins to take on narrative shape in the figure of a self-important, talentless man-of-letters called Hector Bartlett. Bartlett, mysteriously, like a virus, begins… Read full this story
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Chapter One of A Far Cry From Kensington by Muriel Spark, with an introduction by William Boyd have 240 words, post on www.scotsman.com at February 9, 2018. This is cached page on Konitono. If you want remove this page, please contact us.