Circus of Dreams
Something extraordinary happened to the UK literary scene in the 1980s. A generation of young British writers took the literary novel into new realms of setting, subject matter and style, challenging the Establishment writers of the 1950s. It began with two names - Martin Amis and Ian McEwan - and became a flood: Julian Barnes, William Boyd, Graham Swift, Salman Rushdie, Jeanette Winterson and Pat Barker among them. Suddenly, authors of serious fiction were like rock stars, fashionable, sexy creatures, shrewdly marketed and feted in public. The yearly bunfight of the Booker Prize became a matter of keen public interest. Tim Waterstone established the first of a chain of revolutionary bookshops. Through this exciting, hectic period, the journalist and author John Walsh played many parts: literary editor, reviewer, interviewer, prize judge and TV pundit. In this book, he reports on what he found.