Swansong (novel), (London: Collins, 1986; New York: Atheneum, 1986; London: Fontana Flamingo, 1987 [pb]).
This novel (I wanted to call it Songs for Yomping but was prevented by the publishers) ranges freely over eighties Britain, from raucous self-loathing punk rocker Premo Bulge, to Jack and Queen, an elderly Battersea couple involved in the bacon and greengrocery trades, and their unexpected connection to the Prime Minister, Mrs Cheeseman, with her mysterious pearl earrings.
The Third Sex is at last revealed; an eighteenth century rake finds himself in a twentieth century war; a clergyman has a life-changing vision of his own tooth – and everything and everybody inevitably triangulates towards the Farquhar Islands, where the locals have bobble hats and priapic teapots, and British culture finally sinks beneath the waves.
“I would like to go on and on about how brilliantly funny and inventive and intensely enjoyable and, well, just how brilliant it is.” (Selina Hastings, Daily Telegraph)
“Exuberant and richly imaginative, bursting at the seams” (Deborah Moggach, Sunday Times)