Brown, Susan, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy, eds. Nell Dunn entry: Overview screen within Orlando: Women's Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Online, 2006. <//orlando.cambridge.org/>. 21 January 2021.
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Writing and Life
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Nell Dunn became known in the mid-twentieth century for her documentary-style fiction about the lives of working-class women in London. Her ear for dialogue (the rhythms of working-class speech in particular) and her forthright treatment of women's sexuality are features of her writing. From sketches and novels she moved quickly into interviewing and plays and monologues. Her early work formed part of an investigative naturalistic cultural movement which focused on working-class life. It was associated by some with the so-called 'angry young men' school, a group which was disowned by most of those whom the media associated with it. Nell Dunn, however, continued to find new uses for social realism and reportage after the end of the 1960s and 70s.
9 June 1936 ND was born in London, the younger by a year of two sisters. Bibliographic Citation link.
After 1959 ND began her investigative journalism, publishing documentary-style stories in the New Statesman. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 21 November 1963 ND published her first novel, Up the Junction, with line-drawings by Susan Benson. Bibliographic Citation link.
1965 ND adapted her own fiction volume Up the Junction for television (the BBC's Wednesday Play series) under the directorship of Ken Loach. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 26 April 1967 ND published her very successful second novel Poor Cow, titled from a word which is a sexual slur. Bibliographic Citation link.
Later 1967 ND's Poor Cow, like her previous novel, was adapted first for television and then as a film by director Ken Loach, with her own screenplay. Bibliographic Citation link.
14 April 1988 Both ND's Up the Junction and Poor Cow were reprinted again as Virago Modern Classics, with introductions by Adrian Henri and Margaret Drabble respectively. Bibliographic Citation link.
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