Coronet to publish Nell Dunn’s memoir

Coronet to publish Nell Dunn’s memoir

Hodder has acquired playwright, screenwriter and author Nell Dunn’s memoir, The Muse, to publish with Coronet this summer. 

"An icon of Sixties feminism and freethinking, Nell Dunn is as frank, fearless and funny as she was then," Hodder comments. Publisher Mark Booth bought world rights from Alan Brodie at Alan Brodie Representation. 

Dunn came to fame in the '60s with a collection of short stories, Up The Junction, which was adapted and directed for television for the "Wednesday Play" series by Ken Loach with a feature film version later released in 1968. Dunn’s first novel, Poor Cow, published in 1967, gave a "frank and funny" account of the lives of working-class women and of women’s sexuality. In 1967 it was made into a film directed by Ken Loach and starring Terence Stamp and Carol White. Dunn’s play "Steaming", an insider’s account of feminism in action, was then produced in 1981, and a feature film directed by Joseph Losey, starring Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles and Diana Dors, was released in 1985.

In The Muse, Dunn returns to the woman and the friendship that inspired both Poor Cow and "Steaming". She writes in the preface: "I met Josie in the '60s and she became my muse. My relationship with Josie was deeply connected with my work as a writer. Her use of language. The freedom and daring of her life. I wrote two books and a play about her. She did the living. I did the writing."

In the book, Dunn extensively quotes correspondence from Josie as well as providing "fresh, clear, deceptively simple prose and remembered dialogue" to describe how Josie taught Nell to live in the moment and where Josie's philosophy of giving no thought to tomorrow leads her.

The book is due to publish on 9th July 2020.