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About the Author: Jane Gardam

Jane Mary Gardam OBE is a British author of children's and adult fiction. She also reviews for the Spectator and the Telegraph, and writes for BBC radio. She lives in Kent, Wimbledon and Yorkshire. She has won numerous literary awards including the Whitbread Award, twice. She is mother of Tim Gardam, Principal of St Anne's College, Oxford. Jane has been awarded the Heywood Hill Literary Prize for a lifetime’s contribution to the enjoyment of literature and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Her first book for adults, Black Faces, White Faces (1975), a collection of linked short stories about Jamaica, won both the David Higham Prize for Fiction and the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize. Subsequent collections of short stories include The Pangs of Love and Other Stories (1983), winner of the Katherine Mansfield Award; Going into a Dark House (1994), which was awarded the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award (1995); and Missing the Midnight: Hauntings & Grotesques (1997).

Jane Gardam's first novel for adults, God on the Rocks (1978), a coming-of-age novel set in the 1930s, was adapted for television in 1992. It won the Prix Baudelaire (France) in 1989 and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. Her other novels include The Queen of the Tambourine (1991), a haunting tale about a woman's fascination with a mysterious stranger, which won the Whitbread Novel Award; Faith Fox (1996), a portrait of England in the 1990s; and The Flight of the Maidens (2000), set just after the Second World War, which narrates the story of three Yorkshire schoolgirls on the brink of university and adult life. This book was adapted for BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour. In 1999 Jane Gardam was awarded the Heywood Hill Literary Prize in recognition of a distinguished literary career.

Her non-fiction includes a book about the Yorkshire of her childhood in The Iron Coast (1994), published with photographs by Peter Burton and Harland Walshaw.

She also writes for children and young adults. Her novel Bilgewater (1977), originally written for children, has now been re-classified as adult fiction. She was awarded the Whitbread Children's Book Award for The Hollow Land (1981) and is the author of A Few Fair Days (1971), a collection of short stories for children set on a Cumberland farm, and two novels for teenagers, A Long Way From Verona (1971), which explores a wartime childhood in Yorkshire, and The Summer After the Funeral (1973), a story about a loss of innocence after the death of a father.

Jane Gardam is a member of PEN and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is married with three children and divides her time between East Kent and Yorkshire.


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Goodreads rating: 3.81

Paperback, Published in Apr 2013 by Europa Editions

ISBN10: 1609450930 | ISBN13: 9781609450939

Page count: 205

The third installment in the Old Filth trilogy, Last Friends will surprise and delight Gardam fans and appeal to new readers as it concludes a portrait of a marriage equal to any in the English language.

Of Edward Feathers, a.k.a. Old Filth, the New York Times wrote, “he belongs in the Dickensian pantheon of memorable characters.” Filth, which stands for Failed in London Try Hong Kong, is a successful barrister who has spent most of his career practicing law in Southeast Asia. He met his wife, Betty, after she was released from an internment camp at the close of World War II. The first two books in this series—Old Filth and The Man in the Wooden Hat— told the story of their life together first from Edward's perspective, and then from Betty's. Last Friends is Edward's longtime nemesis and Betty's sometime lover, Terry Veneering's turn and with its telling a magnificent and deeply moving story comes to its satisfying final pages.
As the Washington Post commented, these “absolutely wonderful” books give us “an astute, subtle depiction of marriage.” With this third revealing view of Betty and Edward's life together the depiction is completed as readers renew their connection to this remarkable, unforgettable couple.

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