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Waterhouse, Keith

(British, 1929– )

As a young man Waterhouse left his native Leeds to work in Fleet Street, and has since combined journalism with novels, stage and television plays, and film-scripts (many of these in collaboration with Willis Hall). In Waterhouse's first novel, There is a Happy Land (1957), he captures the giddy joys and shuddering terrors of working-class childhood in a northern town; you can smell the tar bubbles bursting. Billy Fisher is the Ruler of Ambrosia in Billy Liar (1959), but in drear reality he's an undertaker's apprentice with aspirations to write gags for television comedians. The scrapes his fantasies land him in are very funny, leading to a poignant finale. Our Song (1988) is the story of a middle-aged man's obsession with a gauche young woman, part of whose charm is ordering Torremolinos in an Italian restaurant. Page Three girl Debra Chase tells Her Own Story in Bimbo (1990), stoutly declaring that the stuff we've previously read about her is a virago of lies from start to finish.

Stan Barstow, John Wain  TH

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Tr-Z)