It is the summer of 1986 and the cutting, trimming and shrinking of public funds is much in the news. Education, health, the arts - all are being deprived of money. But while the university where the obscure but critically sound writer Henry Babbacombe teaches is having to cut down on staff, a northern television company is having a last spree before the money runs out. And who should they choose for their writer but Henry Babbacombe? Wrenched from the privacy and seclusion of his garden shed into the spotlight of the media, Henry learns a thing or two about what it takes to be successful in Mrs Thatcher's Britain.
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Malcolm Bradbury was a well-known novelist, critic and academic, and founder of the creative writing department at the University of East Anglia. He was the author of seven novels, including The History Man and Rates of Exchange, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He was awarded a knighthood in 2000 and died the same year.
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