The Perfect Stranger

by PJ Kavanagh
The Perfect Stranger

Availability: In stock

£8.99
First published in 1966, this extraordinary memoir has collected a passionate band of devotees. Written with a poet's precision, it is a funny, absorbing and brilliantly portrayed rite of passage - from school playing fields to war's battlefields, holiday camps to writers' hang-outs, Brighton to Paris, Korea to Oxford, Barcelona to Jakarta ... Driving the narrator is a desire to recount the effect of a singular young woman; the love of her and the loss of her.

A joyous and movingly wise evocation of youth, travel and love; those moments of maximum brilliance, at the edge of possibility.

P. J. Kavanagh was a poet, writer, actor, broadcaster and columnist. Born in 1931, son of the radio comedy writer Ted Kavanagh, he went to a Benedictine school, served in the Korean war during national service, and worked for the British Council in Barcelona and Indonesia. He acted on stage and TV - his last appearance in an episode of Father Ted. The Perfect Stranger, awarded the Richard Hillary Memorial Prize in 1966, describes his early life. His columns for The Spectator and the Times Literary Supplement (he called them substitute poems) are collected in People and Places (1988) and A Kind of Journal (2003).

Poetry remained his major occupation. His New Selected Poems came out in 2014. Earlier collections include Presences (1987), An Enchantment (1991) and Something About (2004). His Collected Poems was given the Cholmondeley Award in 1992.

His novel A Song and Dance won the 1968 Guardian Fiction Prize. His other novels are A Happy Man, People and Weather and Only by Mistake, and for younger readers Scarf Jack and Rebel for Good. A travel-autobiography Finding Connections traces his Irish forebears in New Zealand. He edited G. K. Chesterton and Ivor Gurney, and the anthologies Voices in Ireland, The Oxford Book of Short Poems (with James Michie) and A Book of Consolations.

P. J. died in August 2015 in the Cotswold hills, where he had come to live with his wife and two sons over forty years before.

About the book

First published in 1966, this extraordinary memoir has collected a passionate band of devotees. Written with a poet's precision, it is a funny, absorbing and brilliantly portrayed rite of passage - from school playing fields to war's battlefields, holiday camps to writers' hang-outs, Brighton to Paris, Korea to Oxford, Barcelona to Jakarta ... Driving the narrator is a desire to recount the effect of a singular young woman; the love of her and the loss of her.

A joyous and movingly wise evocation of youth, travel and love; those moments of maximum brilliance, at the edge of possibility.

P. J. Kavanagh was a poet, writer, actor, broadcaster and columnist. Born in 1931, son of the radio comedy writer Ted Kavanagh, he went to a Benedictine school, served in the Korean war during national service, and worked for the British Council in Barcelona and Indonesia. He acted on stage and TV - his last appearance in an episode of Father Ted. The Perfect Stranger, awarded the Richard Hillary Memorial Prize in 1966, describes his early life. His columns for The Spectator and the Times Literary Supplement (he called them substitute poems) are collected in People and Places (1988) and A Kind of Journal (2003).

Poetry remained his major occupation. His New Selected Poems came out in 2014. Earlier collections include Presences (1987), An Enchantment (1991) and Something About (2004). His Collected Poems was given the Cholmondeley Award in 1992.

His novel A Song and Dance won the 1968 Guardian Fiction Prize. His other novels are A Happy Man, People and Weather and Only by Mistake, and for younger readers Scarf Jack and Rebel for Good. A travel-autobiography Finding Connections traces his Irish forebears in New Zealand. He edited G. K. Chesterton and Ivor Gurney, and the anthologies Voices in Ireland, The Oxford Book of Short Poems (with James Michie) and A Book of Consolations.

P. J. died in August 2015 in the Cotswold hills, where he had come to live with his wife and two sons over forty years before.

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