“The Lonely Long Distance Runner” from Alan Sillitow comes to life again on the book market 40 years after its last publication in Bulgarian.
The modern classic, which has become one of the most significant books of the past century, contains 9 stories that sealed the voice of an entire generation. They are published on September 15 with the logo of the publishing house “Krug” in the familiar translation of Violetta Titsin, which has now been revised, and the cover by the artist Damian Damyanov perfectly illustrates the themes of the British writer.
The Lonely Long Distance Runner was first published in Britain in 1959 and depicts the time of isolation, crime, questionable morals and rebellion of the working class to which the author himself belongs. Born and raised in a working-class district of Nottingham, Sillitoe left school at the age of fourteen and began working in a local factory. It was these early years of his life that became a source of creative inspiration and from which Sillitow drew his themes, plots and characters.
Alan Sillitow writes of the rejected, the downtrodden, the condemned. He peers into those corners of the community that we rarely look into to find gems and masterfully tell stories that will linger long in the reader’s mind.
The story, which gave the name to the entire collection, poses serious moral questions that still excite people today. In it, a young man from a correctional institution takes part in a long-distance running race. But what is the point of victory if with it the hero legitimizes a way of thinking that he does not share? The story received a screen adaptation in 1962, on the script of which Sillitow himself worked. The film became one of the significant works of the New Wave in British cinema.
Once a favorite of literary connoisseurs for its imagery and insight, the book now appeals to readers and runners alike for the shared sense of freedom and fulfillment that running brings. “Long-distance training early in the morning makes me think that every run is like life – a tiny life, it is true, but also with its suffering, happiness and all sorts of accidents like real life,” Sillitow wrote in the iconic account.
With The Lonely Long Distance Runner, Krug Publishing House continues its tradition of republishing significant literary works so that they discover their new readers. At the beginning of 2022, the first two novels of John Updike’s Harry Engstrom tetralogy – “Rabbit, Run” and “Rabbit Returns” – were published, and new editions of Kurt Vonnegut’s books are enjoying huge readership.
Alan Sillitow (1928 – 2010) was a British writer, author of more than 20 novels, 7 collections of short stories, many essays, travelogues, children’s books, poems and screenplays. He is known as one of the brightest representatives of the literary movement “Angry Young People”, and his unforgettable characters, fascinating stories and wisdom, attract readers of every generation.