AUBADE

“Not many books by anyone so young are worth publishing, but this one was.”
John Betjeman

“A very good first novel written with fine economy, intelligent and extremely moving.”
Angus Wilson

“He has written for this edition an introduction scarcely less absorbing and revelatory than the novel itself. Kenneth Martin has a long memory, and his account of his London experiences is acid, poignant, honest, illuminating.”
Paul Binding on the Introduction, The Listener

Excerpts from my Introduction to Aubade:

“I wrote Aubade in five weeks the summer I left school, and finished it six weeks before my seventeenth birthday—1000 words a day in three- or four-hour sessions, seven days a week. . . . I wrote then with a purity of purpose and an intense, unquestioning use of my skills that I may never equal and that belonged to a teenager convinced of the truthfulness of his insights into his own small world.”

“Chapman and Hall had been Charles Dickens’ publishers, and when I started exploring London I could imagine Dickens purposefully walking the streets of the Temple near his publishers’ office in Essex Street, on sharp winter mornings when the air near the river smelled as if something was burning.”

“I was interviewed by a furtive young reporter in a raincoat, and photographed slurping whiskey in a Fleet Street pub while I pretended to read Thomas Wolfe. True to character, I sought revenge on the small town which I perceived as rejecting me. “Bangor is a nice place,” I told the reporter, “but socially and intellectually it’s a slum.” I was reported verbatim under the heading “Shy Boy, 17, Writes Novel That Will Shock.” “Don’t worry,” the reporter said, “people forget what’s in the paper three days later.” In which case, what was the point of using him to publicize my novel? But he was wrong: the Belfast Telegraph never forgave me, and panned everything I ever wrote.”

2 thoughts on “AUBADE

  1. Dear mr. Martin,

    In 1999, I bought a first edition of Aubade without a dust jacket (dutch webshop). Was it published with a dj in 1957?
    I very much enjoyed your novel!

    Rudi Hermans
    Galgeneinde 11 / 1
    B-3550 Bolderberg
    Belgium

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