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Dunn, Nell

joy junction cow poor

(British, 1936– )

Born in London, novelist and playwright Nell Dunn won immediate fame with Up The Junction (1963), a series of gritty short stories about working-class life in Battersea. Poor Cow (1967) follows heroine Joy down the spiral of deprivation into prostitution. Both were filmed by Ken Loach in semi-documentary style. Considered controversial at the time largely because of its frank treatment of female sexuality, Dunn's 1960s' work was a southern version of the mainly northern ‘kitchen-sink’ milieu. Other novels followed, including I Want (1972), with Adrian Henri. Dunn has also written for children, for television, and stage; Steaming (1981), a comedy with an all-female cast, reworked themes from Up the Junction. Her novel My Silver Shoes (1996) revisited Poor Cow's Joy twenty years on.

Pat Barker, Barry Hines  CB

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