House Mother Normal

House Mother Normal

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With an introduction by Andrew Motion

In his heyday, during the 1960s and early 1970s, B. S. Johnson was one of the best-known novelists in Britain. A passionate advocate for the avant-garde, he became famous for his forthright views on the future of the novel and for his unique ways of putting them into practice. House Mother Normal: A Geriatric Comedy is Johnson’s most richly characterized, humane and sympathetic work.

Eight residents in a home for the elderly sit down to dinner, along with the House Mother herself, and each takes it in turn to relay the proceedings of the evening from their own, individual perspective. By virtue of the novel’s clever structure, the reader’s comprehension of events is limited so as to allow them a powerful experience: Johnson’s humorous yet deeply compassionate depiction of what it means to live life and grow old.

About B S Johnson

B. S. Johnson (1933–1973), an admirer of Joyce and Beckett, was a novelist whose works combine verbal inventiveness with typographical innovations. His works include Albert Angelo (1964), Trawl (1966), The Unfortunates (1969), House Mother Normal (1971) and Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry (1973).

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Books by B S Johnson

Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry
Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry
Trawl
Trawl
Albert Angelo
Albert Angelo
Well Done God!
Well Done God!
B. S. Johnson Omnibus
B. S. Johnson Omnibus
The Unfortunates
The Unfortunates