Author(s): Jane Gardam
Written from the perspective of Filth's wife, "Betty", this is a story which will make the reader weep for the missed opportunities, while laughing aloud for the joy and the wit. Filth (Failed In London Try Hong Kong) is a successful lawyer when he marries Elisabeth in Hong Kong soon after the War. Reserved, immaculate and courteous, Filth finds it hard to demonstrate his emotions. But Elisabeth is different - a free spirit. She was brought up in the Japanese Internment Camps, which killed both her parents, but left her with a lust for survival and an affinity with the Far East. No wonder she is attracted to Filth's hated rival at the Bar - the brash, forceful Veneering. Veneering has a Chinese wife and an adored son - and no difficulty whatsoever in demonstrating his emotions ...How Elisabeth turns into Betty, and whether she remains loyal to stolid Filth or swept up by caddish Veneering, make for a page-turning plot, in a lovely novel which is full of surprises and revelations, as well as the humour and eccentricities for which Jane Gardam's writing is famous.
A box of delights - another masterpiece from Jane Gardam. The Man in the Wooden Hat is a companion volume to Old Filth, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize.
Over her long and successful career, Jane Gardam has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize (for Old Filth in 2005) and for the Booker Prize (for God on the Rocks) and is the only writer to have been twice awarded the prize for Whitbread Novel of the Year (for The Hollow Land and Queen of the Tambourine). She also holds a Heywood Hill Literary Prize for a lifetime's contribution to the enjoyment of literature. As well as an acclaimed novelist, she is a writer of short stories, most recently The People on Privilege Hill, whose title story was runner-up in the BBC National Short Story Award and was read on Radio 4. Jane Gardam was awarded the OBE in the 2009 New Year's Honours lists for services to literature. She was born in Yorkshire and lives in Kent.