A fine writer who has never had the full recognition he deserves
— Graham Greene, 1977

I've read Something To Answer For [and] I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's beautifully written, shot through with crisp, mordant wit, and Newby plays out his narrative with consummate skill
— Sam Jordison, The Guardian, 2007

P.H. Newby


P. H. Newby was a novelist and critic. He was Managing Director of BBC Radio 1975-8, and won the first Booker Prize award in 1969.

He published 20 adult novels, two for children, a book of short stories, three books on Middle Eastern history, and reviews and literary criticism.

Whilst he was working at the BBC, Newby wrote mostly at the weekends, fuelled by "excitement over a crux, a donnée, a paradox that I imperfectly understand." This crux was chiefly psychological, and often it was also related to nationality.

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The header image a detail from The Picnic at Sakkara, drawn and painted by Davies Bailey.

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