Category Archives: Latest

The Making of an Immigration Judge (New Revelations)

Quartet author James Hanratty R.D. sat on the Windrush Lessons Learned Review. In today’s Express, he writes about the Windrush scandal and the shame this has brought on our immigration and legal system. We published the Revised Edition of Hanratty’s memoir The Making of an Immigration Judge in May, which includes new chapters on Windrush and his role in the Hong Kong handover of 1997. You can read the full
piece below and get your copy of this edition here:
https://www.quartetbooks.co.uk/shop/the-making-of-an-immigration-judge-revised-edition/

The Making of an Immigration Judge front cover

 

The Windrush Scandal Must Never Be Repeated

Sitting as an immigration judge for 16 years I thought I had seen it all.

On the one hand were Nigerians pretending to be from the Ivory Coast,
Kenyans who claimed they were from Rwanda and Pakistanis masquerading
as Afghanis.

On the other were frightened and tortured people seeking asylum on
religious and political grounds from, among others, Sri Lanka, Eritrea
and Middle Eastern countries.

An Iranian who had converted from Islam to Christianity faced a death
sentence on their return and I was the first judge to rule that a
terrified child about to be sent abroad to undergo female genital
mutilation was entitled to refugee status.

The Home Office tried valiantly to sort out truth from myth while
applying insanely complex immigration rules.
Meanwhile, legal advisers to genuine claimants were hampered in some
cases by the withdrawal of legal aid and the removal of the right of
appeal.
Yet all this paled into insignificance alongside the Windrush scandal,
which became a long-running sore on our immigration and legal system
after coming to light in 2018.
In a nutshell, British subjects, many members of the Windrush
generation, were wrongly detained, threatened with deportation and, in
more than 80 cases, actually deported.

The Home Office destroyed landing cards of the Windrush generation in
2010 and, while the Immigration Act 1971 provided for those born in
the UK before 1973 to have right of abode, the Home Office required
documentation going back 14 years. How many of us can produce a gas
bill that far back?
The Home Office presumed lack of documentation equalled illegality and
members of the Windrush generation and their children were cruelly
targeted. Others who had visited the West Indies were not allowed back
into the UK, notwithstanding the fact they had been resident and
paying taxes for, in some cases, decades.

Those affected lost jobs, housing, benefits and effectively became
homeless. I was privileged to be part of the official review of the
shameful affair.

While lessons have been learned and a compensation scheme established,
the coronavirus pandemic has deflected attention from the plight of so
many innocent, dignified and loyal citizens.
As a nation, we must be ashamed such governmental action was taken in
our name. It’s incumbent upon all of us in this great nation to ensure
such a scandal is never repeated.
James Hanratty
Former President of The Council of Immigration Judges and author of
The Making of an Immigration Judge: Revised Edition (Quartet Books, £15)

Buy this amazing book, if only for the valuable information it contains.

Memories

Lindsay Duguid has reviewed my new book Memories in this issue of The  TLS. I’ve posted the review below… If you like the sound of it, you  can buy a copy of the book here:
https://www.quartetbooks.co.uk/shop/memories/

MEMORIES
The charms and follies of a lifetime’s publishing 278pp. Quartet. Paperback, £11.99.
Naim Atallah

 

Memories by Naim Attallah | Waterstones

Memories, Naim Atallah’s sixteenth book, is his most recent volume of  memoirs. It is a record, or a flow, of jottings and thoughts, a “pot  pourri of vignettes”, set down in allusive rather than chronological  order in support of the author’s belief that “It’s lovely to evoke  childhood memories later on in adulthood”. Recollections of his early  life and of his adventures as a bouncer and bodyguard in Soho come  late in the book, as do his melancholy teenage poems and his  evocations of married life in a small flat in Holland Park. The latter  include his morning task of carrying a half-naked girl from her  mattress on the kitchen floor to sleep in the empty marital bed after  he had left for work. As a story it is characteristic of the author in  being of its time and challenging to propriety, while also having a  sympathetic element.

The girl on the mattress is one of many young women he recalls. All  young, some titled, many “sultry”. Characterized by old-fashioned  expressions such as “buxom blonde” or “impish teenager”, they are  signed up and put to work in the office or at launch parties and  publicity events where they appear wearing rubber dresses or pvc  skirts. Their warm and grateful letters are reprinted here. Here too  are fond recollections of “dear friends”: John le Carré, Harold Acton,  Lord Lambton, Quentin Crewe, Auberon Waugh.

A picture of 1980s London, pulsating with opportunities in celebrity  publishing, plays and films, is summoned up through parties at  Langan’s and West End first nights. Slightly hazy anecdotes are backed  up by press cuttings of reviews, gossip columns, malicious newspaper  articles and his own dignified letters to editors responding to
criticisms of his publications and anti-Palestinian slurs. The idea  that notoriety brings success, though never stated, lurks behind many  of his projects from the 1984 hotel guide the Dirty Weekend Book to  the controversial Women interviews of 1987; from Melissa Sadoff’s  Woman as Chameleon: Or how to be an ideal woman of 1988 to Elizabeth  Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation of 1994. All reliably created a storm of
disapproval and personal invective.

The solid achievements of his publishing firms Quartet – especially  its Encounters series of novels in translation – and the Women’s  Press, his support of the Literary Review and the Oldie and even his  success in bringing new designs to Asprey’s, of which he was managing  director, are there to be admired, alongside the blue Rolls-Royce he
bought on impulse, the bright silk ties he favoured, his  diamond-studded Rolex and the tiger skin rugs in his office. (Oddly  for such a name-dropping book the names are sometimes garbled: Salmon  Rushdie, Lucien Freud and the Cray Twins.)

David Elliott of Quartet Books comments are as follow:

Nice though it is to see an agreeable review in this week’s TLS for Memories by Naim Attallah, the final sniffy comment on misspelt surnames might have had more impact had they spelt Attallah correctly. Glasshouses and stones come to mind.”

Waugh on Wine

We published a new edition of Waugh on Wine in 2019. As it’s English Wine Week, I thought I’d post the Wine Spectator’s review of Waugh on Wine…

Waugh on Wine: Bad Wine Hosts Should Be ‘Exposed, Ridiculed and Humiliated’

English provocateur Auberon Waugh’s wine—and weed—witticisms have been republished in a new volume. Plus, legal blues for blue wine

Waugh on Wine: Bad Wine Hosts Should Be 'Exposed, Ridiculed and Humiliated'
The cover of the new edition of Waugh on Wine (left), and one of the whimsical illustrations by Willie Rushton that depict a cartoon Waugh beset by wine. (Courtesy of Quartet Books)

 

Aug 8, 2019

Auberon Waugh, the late English writer and wit, famously hated many things—but few more than bad wine and bad hosts. The bon vivant and troublemaker once described a wine as “a collapsed marquee fallen into a rotting silage pit” and wrote that “hosts who skimp on their wine should be exposed, ridiculed and humiliated.” These and other withering critiques, pensees, bon mots and general tidbits of advice appear in the classic collection of the author’s writings Waugh on Wine, republished last month by Quartet Books after decades out of print.

Waugh, son of the novelist Evelyn, went by “Bron,” but unlike the other wine-loving, trash-talking Bron, had a less-than-auspicious early career. Rusticated (a fancy word for expelled) by his professors at Oxford University, he joined the national service, where, upon becoming annoyed by his faulty machine gun, he shook the barrel and accidentally fired several bullets into his chest. He lost his spleen, one lung, several ribs, and a finger.

Waugh on Wine

Humorist and illustrator Willie Rushton was a longtime friend and collaborator of Waugh. (Courtesy of Quartet Books)

That put him in a permanent mood to pen such pronouncements as “bad Spanish wine furs the tongue, turns the breath sour, upsets the stomach and produces a murderous hangover” and “it has been said that if you leave an Italian with a butt of rainwater, four mail-bags of mislaid holiday postcards and a hundredweight of banana skins, he will produce twenty cases of vino di tavola within a fortnight” (not necessarily an insult!). Naim Attallah, who owns Quartet and was good friends with Waugh, told Unfiltered via email, “I decided to republish this book simply because Bron was funny, contrary and entertaining.”

Waugh on Wine

Riesling with weed was a Waugh pairing rule. (Courtesy of Quartet Books)

Some of Waugh’s wine wisdom is dated, of course—the original volume was published in 1987 and Waugh died in 2001—but he was ahead of his time on the wine and weed trend, advising that kabinett and spätlese Rieslings are “the only wines I have discovered which go well with pot, having a soothing and fragrant influence.”

Waugh on Wine

Old World through and through, Waugh nevertheless admitted, “There can be no doubt that the Californians, for all their psychobabble and personal hygiene, are producing some very good red wines indeed.” (Courtesy of Quartet Books)

In the new intro, Attallah praises his chum’s “unsnobbish approach to wine” and remembers Waugh’s reaction when he gifted him a 1947 Cheval-Blanc on his birthday: “The joy on his face as he held the bottle in his hand … is still etched in my memory.” Some classics can please even the greatest contrarians.

Bron’s work lives on forever. God bless him.

Waugh on Wine is an essential read for all wine lovers and you can get a copy here: https://www.quartetbooks.co.uk/shop/waugh-on-wine/


Memories

David Platzer is a critic and writer who reviews books for The Catholic Herald and The New Criterion. He reviewed  No Longer with Us for The Catholic Herald. The book was of particular interest to him as it contained an interview with Sir Harold Acton and David is writing a biography on Sir Acton. When Memories arrived  from the printers, our publicity manager sent a copy to David. A few weeks later, he sent us the following review…

 

Memories: The Charms and Follies of a Lifetime’s Publishing
Quartet
278 pp, £15

Describing Naim Attallah remarkable is an understatement. Born in Haifa then under the British Mandate in 1931, he came to England as a student. His formal studies ending, prematurely, when he could no longer get money from home, he worked various jobs as a steeplejack, a bouncer in a Soho jazz club (recounted here in an entertaining chapter) and a banker. In time he became Asprey’s CEO. A lifelong constant reader who dreamt in childhood of being a writer, he rescued in 1976 Quartet Books, founded four years earlier, and turned into a vital presence in the publishing world. This new book is a self-portrait with added fond memories from people who have worked with Attallah over the years in his many endeavours that also touched the theatre, cinema and fashion worlds.

See the source image

At Quartet, Attallah has taken risks on authors other publishers have shied away, some obscure, others household names including Brian Sewell and Lord Lambton, neither of whom averse to controversy. Quartet’s ‘Encounters’ imprint directed by Stephen Pickles was a pioneer in the English-speaking field in publishing translations from modern European authors. Quartet soon added two other imprints, Robin Clark, specialising in such interesting reprints including Auberon Waugh’s entertaining novels, and The Women’s Press to its stable and the book includes a memoir by Rebecca Fraser who directed Robin Clark.

In the midst of all this activity. Attallah made his dream of being a writer come true. He is the most accomplished interviewer of our time and many of interviews are now available in two volumes featuring persons No Longer With Us. Attallah’s interviews are always penetrating, often delving into his subjects’ thoughts about sex and religion, without becoming impertinent. An Attallah interview is indispensable to anyone interested in its subject. Not all of the eminences he approached were inclined to cooperate. Lord Goodman, the establishment’s beetle-browed “universal fixer” didn’t wish to be in the same book as Private Eue.s Richard Ingrams but relented, the supremely self-assured J.K. Galbraith, a leading mandarin of America;s ‘”liberal” left was trying . I wonder if William F. Buckley, who took the opposite view of Galbraith in almost everything though the two remained the best of friends, was difficult as Galbraith.. One hopes for more revelations behind the scenes of his interviews in a future volume. I have a personal interest in Harold Acton, who features in a book I am writing, and Attallah “found him easy-going and charm itself.” Harold responded to Attallah’s questions as to whether he had ever slept with a woman in a characteristically playful way, speaking “with relish” of an encounter with a young Chinese girl with exquisite skin in his 1930s sojourn in Peking. Interviewing the late Duke of Devonshire, Attallah found “the kind of humility normally associated with great sages,”

Anecdotes galore, many of them glamourous, sparkle throughout the book. A satisfied reader can only pray for more Memories.

 

The Old Ladies Of Nazareth

You can read about and get a copy of the English edition of The Old
Ladies of Nazareth here:
https://www.quartetbooks.co.uk/shop/the-old-ladies-of-nazareth/

The Portuguese edition of The Old Ladies of Nazareth, recently
published in Brazil by Matrix, is now receiving great reviews. One of
the reviews has been translated into English for the benefit of our
readers in the United Kingdom who might like to acquaint themselves
with the English edition, which is still in circulation…

 

The Old Ladies of Nazareth: Amazon.co.uk: Naim Attallah ...

As senhoras de Nazaré - Comprar em Matrix Editora

 

 

Here how it goes:

In a work of less than eighty pages, Naim Attallah has written an absorbing narrative which I read avidly. His sparse, clear prose, still rich in detail, is skilfully rendered in a style reminiscent of the stories written by Rubem Braga, a rare achievement indeed.
By recreating this tale of childhood in the fraught land of Palestine before the second world war, Attallah has allowed the reader to better understand the bitter consequences of the absence of a mature Palestinian state in that troubled land.

José Geraldo Gomes Barbosa

Beyond Black There Is No Colour

Here’s a brilliant review of Maryam Diener’s book on the Historical
Novel Society:

 

Beyond Black There Is No Colour: The Story of Forough Farrokhzad

Written by Maryam DIENER
Review by Julia Stoneham

In the last century, three major women poets died in their prime. Two, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, took their own lives. Forough Farrokhzad died in a car accident after numerous suicide attempts. All three were beautiful and held in high regard by their peers. All three had passionate relationships with eminent men who loved and admired them, and this included the husbands of their children. But all three suffered from levels of depression which, from childhood and despite dizzying heights of elation, laid them low enough to overpower them.

Arguably, Forough Farrokhzad, born and raised in Tehran and consequently subject to the rigid dictates of Iranian law and religious restrictions, which inflamed her feelings of repression and lack of freedom to express herself as she wished, had more intolerance and disapproval to contend with than did either Sexton or Plath, each in her own Western environment.

Maryam Diener aptly describes her book as “a work of imaginative fiction” in which she has successfully contrived to give us her subject with precisely the right amount of sensitivity and compassion without, for one moment, descending into sentimentality. Her feeling for both time and place is relaxed and evocative, while her crystalline prose is a pleasure to read, as she moves her subject through the trajectory of her life with a rare assurance and skill.

This book will encourage readers who may be unfamiliar with Forough Farokhzad’s work to discover her for themselves and be the richer for it. This is one to relish and cherish.

Buy copies of this amazing book and defy this present financial crisis. You will not regret it. Go ahead and show us the colour of your money. Your help will be much appreciated.

‘Beyond Black There Is No Colour’ by Maryam Diener launched at Thomas Heneage Art Books

 

Memories

Jane Shilling has included Memories in her list of ‘Must Reads’ for the Daily Mail, out today. The review is posted below…

Memories by Naim Attallah ( Quartet £15, 278pp)

From a reluctant young apprentice in bleak postwar England to publisher, author, impresario, boulevardier and giver of parties at which his well-bred, young female employees wafted around in rubber dresses – Naim Attallah’s career has been the stuff of legend.
Now, he writes, ‘I’ve almost reached my ninth decade, and it is tough going.’
To celebrate the ‘charms and follies’ of his heyday, he’s compiled a memoir: Attallah met everyone from Dame Margot Fonteyn to Paula Yates, and has relished almost every encounter.
Alongside the fizzy social life, this memoir reminds us that as a publisher, Attallah was a fearless supporter of high-minded literature. And while his protegees may have been posh and pretty, they responded with flair to what one, the author Rebecca Fraser, remembers as his ‘wonderful ability to give responsibility to the young.’

Naim says: Buy the book now and be the first to enjoy his Memories.

Memories

 

Two enterprising books published by Quartet

Rebecca Wallersteiner, writer for medical publication Hippocratic Post, has been isolating with new titles. In her article, she recommends two Quartet titles for the summer ahead…

If you can’t travel abroad during your summer holidays this year, there are still small everyday pleasures to enjoy. Settle into a comfy chair, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy Waugh on Wine, this entertaining collection of former Spectator wine critic Auberon Waugh’s writings on wine which sparkles with his legendary wit. On pink champagne, (a personal favourite of mine), he writes, “there is something Barbara Cartlandlish about returning to this great Edwardian favourite. Perhaps it cannot compare, in delicacy or subtlety, to the very best white champagne, but how many of us ever drink the very best?” Pink fizz is much more “festive” to look at. Waugh recommends “hosts that skimp on their wine should be exposed, ridiculed and humiliated” and “anyone with money to spend should spend it on laying down a cellar.” A little dated, it is a must for wine lovers.

One of the most colourful personalities on London’s cultural scene, Naim Attallah has published a diverse roll call of notable literary names throughout the years, including Angela Carter, Brian Sewell and Leni Riefenstahl, to name a few. In Memories Attallah writes entertainingly about his sparkling contemporaries. These range from the violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin, politicians Tony Ben and Enoch Powell, to ballerina Margot Fonteyn, founder of Private Eye Richard Ingrams and writer Quentin Crew; to Michael Aspel and the former Chairman of Conde Nast Britain, Nicholas Coleridge. Attallah warmly relates how despite having muscular dystrophy and using a wheelchair the journalist Quentin Crewe never ceased to delight in beautiful women, travel, and partying the night away: he argued that disabled people are not very different to anyone else. Packed with quirky anecdotes, (often about sex), this very funny memoir should appeal to fans of Private Eye. I enjoyed reading it.

Waugh on Wine, by Auberon Waugh, with illustrations by William Rushton, (first published in 1987), re-published in paperback by Quartet Books, priced at £10.

Memories: The charms and follies of a lifetime’s  by Naim Attallah, published by Quartet Books, June 2020 , priced at £15.

MEMORIES

Paul Burke, editor of NB Magazine has reviewed Memories on his blog
Booksplainer. The review will be on NB magazine in a few weeks.

 

 

https://www.quartetbooks.co.uk/shop/memories/

To be different is Quartet’s secret weapon

In today’s upheaval because of the tragic death of so many people all over the world because of the coronavirus , and their fear of catching the disease, most people are confined to their homes where their lack of movements and boredom play havoc with their normal lives. Their only relief is to read books which recall happy times as well as tragic historical events that demanded a great deal of stamina and spiritual hopes making them survive the vicissitudes of time.

At Quartet, we know how important a book can be in these extraordinary times. For that reason, we’re publishing throughout the crisis. Whereas other publishers have halted all publications, we’re carrying on. But we’ve always been different to other publishers! That has always been our strength.

Two weeks ago, we published Pomeranski by Gerald Jacobs which you can buy here: https://www.quartetbooks.co.uk/shop/pomeranski/

This week, we published a revised paperback edition of The Making of an Immigration Judge by James Hanratty:
https://www.quartetbooks.co.uk/shop/the-making-of-an-immigration-judge-revised-edition/

And my new book Memories will be published in June. You can buy an advanced copy here: https://www.quartetbooks.co.uk/shop/memories/

And we have much more coming very soon…

If you’re looking for escapism from these strange and scary times, look no further! You will be most welcome.