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Beat the bestsellers: JL Carr

Tony Rossiter profiles the self-styled writer who set up his own publishing company for his idiosyncratic books

The style and technique of JL CARR

A local theatre company’s adaptation of A Month in the Country was my first exposure to the writing of JL (Jim) Carr. Over a period of thirty years he produced eight novels, two of them shortlisted for the Booker prize. He was in his fifties when he began writing – a role model for those of us who are not in the first flush of youth.

How he began

Carr was born in 1912. The son of a Yorkshire stationmaster who was a Methodist lay preacher, he became a teacher in the 1930s and during the war served as an RAF photographer in West Africa. He returned to teaching after the war and for fifteen years in the 1950s and 1960s was headmaster of a primary school in Northamptonshire.

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The UK's bestselling writing magazine • Beat writer's block: Busting the myth and dealing with the reality • Revealed: WM's books of the year • Star interview: Stef Penney – intimate emotions, epic landscapes • 20 packed pages of Writers' News: win £50,588 in writing prizes; opportunities to get published; insider know-how and much more...

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