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Hometown Tales: Birmingham

Stewart Lee, Maria Whatton

2 Reviews

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Memoirs, Local interest, family history & nostalgia, Travel writing

Hometown Tales: Celebrating regional voices

Two arresting tales of life in Birmingham

Original tales by remarkable writers Hometown Tales is a series of books pairing exciting new voices with some of the most talented and important writers at work today. Some of the tales are fiction and some are narrative non-fiction - they are all powerful, fascinating and moving, and aim to celebrate regional diversity and explore the meaning of home.

In these pages on Birmingham, you'll find two unique tales. 'Silver in the Quarter' is a vivid coming-of-age fiction about a boy who finds himself caught up in the Birmingham pub bombings of 1974 by Maria Whatton. 'In the Ape's Shadow' is a fascinating exploration of the music scene that inspired him growing up in Birmingham, by BAFTA Award-winning comedian and author Stewart Lee.

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Praise for Hometown Tales: Birmingham

  • One of the top three or four living stand-ups.. - TIME OUT

  • Another comedy great who truly advances the art of stand-up. Perfection - RADIO TIMES on COMEDY VEHICLE

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Stewart Lee

Stewart Lee grew up in Solihull and began stand-up in 1988 at the age of 20, having been inspired by seeing the post-punk anti-comic Ted Chippington open for The Fall in Birmingham in 1984. He won the Hackney Empire new act of the year award in 1990 and for the next decade was a five nights a week regular on the stand-up club circuit. In 2001 he was asked to contribute to the libretto for the composer Richard Thomas' JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA which went on to win four Olivier awards. His most recent stand-up shows have been Stand Up Comedian (2004), 90s Comedian (2005), 41st Best Stand-up Comedian (2007), If You Prefer a Milder Comedian, Please Ask for One (2009), Carpet Remnant World (2012) and Content Provide (2016). STEWART LEE'S COMEDY VEHICLE, featuring his stand-up, ran for four series on BBC2, and won the BAFTA for Best Comedy Programme in 2012. Stewart is also the author of the stand-up comedy studies HOW I ESCAPED MY CERTAIN FATE (2010) and IF YOU PREFER A MILDER COMEDIAN PLEASE ASK FOR ONE (2012). He has written for THE WIRE, UNCUT, the OBSERVER and MOJO, and won CELEBRITY MASTERMIND answering questions on the guitarist Derek Bailey. Stewart has two children and has lived in Stoke Newington, Hackney, since the 1990s. He recently recorded a half hour piece inspired by his contribution to this book, TELLY SAVALAS LOOKS AT BIRMINGHAM, with the free-jazz trio capri-batterie.

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