An Immaculate Mistake

An Immaculate Mistake : Scenes from Childhood and Beyond

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Paul Bailey's remarkable account of growing up working class and gay in south London just after the war. His father had come back from WWI to find that he'd been abandonned by his wife, and in early middle age, working as a road sweepeer, he married a young servant girl. Bailey was one of three children brought up in such poverty that up to the middle of his adolescence he slept in the same bed as his father because of lack of space in the house. Nevertheless it was a happy, secure home which he protrays with great affection. The second strand of the book is his discovery at grammar school (he was the brains of the family) that he's homosexual - a discovery which didn't go down well in rigidly conventional Battersea. The book is extremely funny in places, evocative, and particularly moving in its portrait of the author's mother.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 136 x 200 x 14mm | 158g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Re-issue
  • 0141015187
  • 9780141015187

About Paul Bailey

Paul Bailey is the author of nine novels, including At The Jerusalem, which won the Somerset Maugham Prize for a First Novel, Gabriel's Lament, and Uncle Rudolph. He has been shortlisted twice for the Booker Prize and has also written a biography of Cynthia Payne, called An English Madam and Three Queer Lives, an alternative biography of Naomi Jacob, Fred Barnes and Arthur Marshall. His most recent book was a sequel to An Immaculate Mistake, entitled A Dog's Life.
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