Alan Bennett diaries to be published

Alan Bennett diaries to be published

Faber & Faber and Profile Books have jointly acquired Alan Bennett’s Keeping On Keeping On, his diaries from 2005 to 2015.

UK and British Commonwealth rights were acquired from Charles Walker at United Agents. The new book will be published in October 2016.

Bennett’s third collection of prose follows in the footsteps of Writing Home (Faber) and Untold Stories (Faber/Profile), each published 10 years apart.

This latest collection contains Bennett’s "peerless" diaries from 2005 to 2015, reflecting on a decade that saw four premieres at the National Theatre, a West End double-bill transfer, and the films of "The History Boys" and "The Lady in the Van". The book also includes "Denmark Hill", a darkly comic radio play set in suburban south London, as well as Bennett’s reflections on a quarter of a century’s collaboration with Nicholas Hytner. This is an engaging, humane, sharp, funny and unforgettable record of life according to the inimitable Alan Bennett.

Profile Books and Faber have been publishing Alan Bennett as a joint partnership since 2005. Books by Bennett which have been published in this partnership include Untold Stories, The Uncommon Reader, The Lady in the Van, Smut, and Six Poets.

Bennett said: "I hope that like its two predecessors this is a book that one can dip in and out of. My readers will know what to expect – indeed I thought of calling it More of the Same."

Rebecca Gray, commissioning editor at Profile said: "I would read Alan Bennett’s shopping list, so what a happy day to be allowed to read his latest diaries! His knowledge and experience are so wide and deep, from an unexpected film or the sinister aspects of an organic café to the pleasure of ancient architecture. His eye for detail and ear for a joke are ever acute, and of course his greatest strength is to make us laugh and cry at the same time, with just a few lines. This is one of those projects that’s enjoyable in every respect – working with Alan, with Faber and with the trade, it’ll feel like one big celebration."

Dinah Wood, editorial director, drama, Faber, called the book a "tapestry of delights". 

She added: "I can’t think of a more exciting book to be working on for autumn 2016. It contains everything one could wish for: wonderful jokes, social commentary, acute local observation, lyrical description; there’s a decade of diaries, introductions, a lecture, articles and a radio play. A tapestry of delights; the perfect prose anthology."