Alan Sillitoe

British writer

Alan Sillitoe (March 4, 1928April 25, 2010) was an English novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, essayist and poet, who first came to prominence as one of the Angry Young Men of the 1950s.

Alan Sillitoe (2009)


  • Government wars aren't my wars; they've got nowt to do with me, because my own war's all that I'll ever be bothered about.
  • I realized it might be possible to do such a thing, run for money, trot for wages on piece work at a bob a puff rising bit by bit to a guinea a gasp and retiring through old age at thirty-two because of lace-curtain lungs, a football heart, and legs like varicose beanstalks.
    • "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner", from New and Collected Stories (1958; repr. London: Robson, 2003), p. 24.
  • Everybody thinks they'll never get married at your age. So did Jack, he told me. You think you can go on all your life being single, I remember he said, but you suddenly find out that you can't.
  • You can always rely on a society of equals taking it out on the women.
    • The Death of William Posters (London: W. H. Allen, 1965), p. 87.


  • Makes Room at the Top look like a vicarage tea-party.
    • The Daily Telegraph, reviewing Saturday Night and Sunday Morning; cited from The Bookseller, October 25, 1958, p. 1641.
    • Also used as a tagline for the 1960 film adaptation.
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