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UK Publisher: Oneworld Classics/Alma

Acclaimed by luminaries such as William Faulkner and EM Forster, suppressed for more than fifty years by a prosecution for obscenity, James Hanley’s 1930s classic charts the short and brutish life of a boy forced out of school and into the unforgiving world of work. Escape – in the form of stowing away on a ship – only deepens his exposure to the squalor and brutality that men are capable of, and when he arrives in Alexandria he learns there are some things that one can’t run away from.

Narrated in unflinching language that is both visceral and acute in its observational power, Boy is a shocking book that stays in the mind long after it is read.

“James Hanley’s genius is evident in Boy” – The Times

“Hanley’s brilliance is to shock us whatever our level of sophistication, and make us believe in this frail youth with his paradoxical inner strength”  – The Evening Standard