Page last updated at 14:32 GMT, Sunday, 25 April 2010 15:32 UK

Alan Sillitoe: Your memories of the author

The author Alan Sillitoe has died aged 82 at Charing Cross Hospital in London, his family has said.

The Nottingham-born novelist emerged in the 1950s as one of the "Angry Young Men" of British fiction.

His novels included Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, both of which were made into films.


Alan Sillitoe in 2008
Alan Sillitoe was an award-winning writer who worked until his death

My first journey into my love of British cinema in the 1950s and 1960s was directly started by this man. I saw Saturday Night And Sunday Morning when I was about 11 years old and it was a history lesson as well as a life lesson. Alan will be sorely missed by everyone who has had the pleasure to read his prose as well as the films he inspired.
David Smith, Grimsby

Sillitoe has made a valuable contribution to British Literature. I have taught many secondary English pupils and they have always been captured by his prose and stories. The realism and sparse prose hits home every time.
Sue Crampton, France

Alan was a relative of my grandmother, his mother and my grandmother were cousins. Alan wrote the book Raw Material and in it is an article of the time he used to spend with my gran and Billy Goss in Ramsey and Nottingham, and I know my grandparents had happy memories of those days. I am so saddened today to have heard the sad news, my thoughts are with his wife and family.
Evelyn Rossiter-Goss, Peterborough

Artists and people like him can never be replaced
Carole Stirrup, Cheshire

Sillitoe wrote a short story called The Sniper, set in WWI. It's a fantastic tale of a man who commits a crime of passion and disappears off to war and spends the next years in carefree abandon when it comes to the fighting, as he expects to get called in to be hung for his crime. He doesn't, and lives to almost tell the tale in a flashback at the start of the story. Brilliant stuff and how it hasn't been dramatised is way beyond me.
Andy Harvey, Warwick

His collection of poems Storm was important to me during a tough period of my life in the North of England in the early 1990s. The mood of that collection and some of the lines have been with me ever since and always will be. I'm probably one of the few people who actually do consider Alan Sillitoe to be a very powerful, memorable poet, capable of capturing moments from one's own life and freezing them on a page.
Pat Brien, Paris, France

SILLITOE THE SMOKER
Alan Sillitoe
Being a writer I just love having a pipe as I'm thinking

I was a student at Bishop Grosseteste College in Lincoln. Whilst studying there, Glyn Hughes was the Writer in Residence and he organised a series of visiting authors. Alan Sillitoe was one such author and I remember him as an unassuming, humble but passionate man. He read out a short story about a headless chicken which was both startling and hilarious. He read out extracts from other things he had written and I thought he was inspirational. The story of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner was simple but hugely powerful. I am sorry to hear of Alan Sillitoe's passing. He was a quiet genius.
Des O'Byrne, Hindhead

So gutted to hear the news this morning. Saturday Night, Sunday Morning is one of my favourite reads and after watching the film recently, I was amazed at how brilliant his screenplay was. The way I found out the news is the killer for me; I'm halfway through writing an essay on Sillitoe for university, now I'm genuinely gutted. Proper Nottingham legend, sorely missed.
Tom, Nottingham

Many years ago, when it was just GCEs and CSEs we had a book list to read, on this list was Alan Sillitoe's Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, and to be honest the only reason I picked it up was because it was not a thick-paged book to read! I read the first page and was hooked, and to this day, it is still one of my favourite books. I am saddened to hear of the death of Alan Sillitoe.
Louise Percival, Wilmslow

Both books were used for my O-level exams in 1968 and were the only two books I ever read from cover to cover as they were so enjoyable and realistic and down to earth and I could relate to both. They are still on my bookshelf now but still in my mind more. Its a sad loss.
Richard Morris, St Andrews, Scotland

His was the first literature that I really began to enjoy that didn't have to describe epic tales and merely focused on real life believable characters who I found myself able to empathize with. This is what then encouraged me to look through all sorts of genres for good reading where I have since found many wonderful novels. This is such strange timing. Last night, yes, just last night I gave Saturday Night and Sunday Morning to my girlfriend to read. One of the most underrated authors of the last century. Rest in Peace Sir.
Kevin McClymont, Milan

I had the great pleasure of talking to Alan at Lowdham bookfair and still treasure my signed copy of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. He was proud of his local roots and used to visit his brother for a "pint with the lads" at the Fiveways in Sherwood. Undoubtedly he is to be seen alongside Byron and Lawrence for putting the city on the world map and even more important his work is on film which is accessible and will be enjoyed for generations to come. RIP.
Trevor Dempsey, Nottingham



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