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. Whilst other children were evacuated out of the big cities, Brian found himself travelling into London, and spent much of the war with an eccentric crowd of ribald relations.
In Keeping Mum Brian Thompson describes a boyhood as rich and mysterious as anything fiction can provide.
First published 2006.
Winner of PEN/Ackerley Prize 2007.
"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"
BRIAN THOMPSON was born in Lambeth, London in 1935. After vigorous rescue remedies applied by two grammar schools, he read English at Cambridge. Since 1973 he has written for a living as a radio and television playwright and a documentary film maker. He is also the author of several acclaimed biographies: A Monkey Amongst Crocodiles, Imperial Vanities and The Nightmare of a Victorian Bestseller.