Nottingham-born Alan Sillitoe, one of the 'Angry Young Men' generation of British writers, died earlier this year at the age of 82. The author of many novels, poetry collections and an auobiography, he shot to fame in 1958 on the publication of 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning', a gritty depiction of contemporary urban working-class life in the Midlands. The novel was filmed by Karel Reisz in 1960, starring the young Albert Finney as its anti-hero. Sillitoe's other best-known book, 'The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner', appeared in 1959, and was filmed three years later by Tony Richardson, starring Tom Courtenay.
Alan Sillitoe was a keen music-lover, and his choices include Jerome Kern's 'Ol' Man River', sung by Paul Robeson; Maria Callas singing 'Casta diva' from Bellini's opera 'Norma'; Vaughan Williams' arrangement of the English folk-song 'Seventeen Come Sunday', Artur Rubinstein playing a Chopin Prelude, and two pieces by Soviet composers, reflecting Sillitoe's lifelong interest in the Soviet Union - an excerpt from Prokofiev's ballet 'Romeo and Juliet', and Shostakovich's 'The Execution of Stepan Razin'.