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Keeping Mum by Brian Thompson

Keeping Mum

Biography / Autobiography   All Shortlists and Winners   
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Winner of the Costa Biography Award 2006.

Judges' comment: "From a loveless wartime childhood comes a generous and loveable memoir written from a child's-eye view. Utterly lacking in self-pity, it's laugh-out-loud funny."


Keeping Mum by Brian Thompson

Mum and Dad - Squibs and Bert - were a complete mystery to Brian Thompson as he grew up in Cambridge and London during the 1940s. His mother danced with the Yanks all night and slept under a fake fur coat all day, and when his father bothered to come home he resolutely discouraged Brian in everything. Other children were evacuated out of the big cities, but Brian found himself travelling into London, where he spent much of the Blitz with an eccentric swarm of relations. Keeping Mum presents a portrait of boyhood as rich and mysterious as anything fiction can provide.


The bestselling memoir, now in paperback: 'A wonderful book that brings vividly to life one of the oddest childhoods I've ever read about.
Michael Frayn

* 'Flawless...genius... this book is evidence of children's capacity not only to survive and thrive, but also to look back and laugh.
Peter Stanford, Independent On Sunday

* 'Funny and terrifying in turns... a magnificent study of malevolence, of a husband and wife for whom hatred is more potent than love.
Paul Bailey, Sunday Times

* 'One of the funniest - and darkest - war memoirs you'll ever read... a spellbinding story.
Daily Mail

* 'Riveting stuff... Evocative and precisely written... a beautifully judged account of an era usually doused in generalised sentiment
Will Cohu, Daily Telegraph

* 'Wildly funny... a knee-high view of the strange adult world.
Francis Wheen

About the Author

Brian Thompson has written for the stage, radio, television, and is the author of four novels. He divides his time between Oxford, England, and the South of France.

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Book Info

Publication date

14th September 2006


Brian Thompson

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Atlantic Books


240 pages


Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners

Biography: general

Second World War



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