Sign up to the Newsletter for the latest news from the Baillie Gifford Prize

You are here

Clever Girl: A Sentimental Education

Clever Girl: A Sentimental Education

Readers of Brian Thompson's first volume of memoir, Keeping
Mum, winner of the Costa Book Award for Biography 2006, were delighted by
the story of a young boy's struggle to run a wartime household in his
father's absence. In Clever Girl, a brilliantly observed portrait of the
1950s, we join him again on his erratic journey towards adulthood.

Brian Thompson groped his way to being a grown up. He excelled at school
and met a girl - the girl of the title -who recognised his ambition to
escape the miserable lives his parents had made for each other. With her he
set himself the task of discovering the healing waters of pure

He read English at Cambridge in the last days of old-style university
education and at the very cusp of the new popular culture ushered in by
rock and roll. Suitably confused, Brian did what was considered to be the
right thing. He married the Clever Girl. 

About the Author

Brian Thompson

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 documentary film maker. He is also the author of several acclaimed biographies including A Monkey Amongst Crocodiles, Imperial Vanities and The Nightmare of a Victorian Bestseller. He lives in Oxford and is available for interview.