Nell Dunn

ND 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. ND , however, continued to find new uses for social realism and reportage after the end of the 1960s and 70s.

Milestones

9 June 1936
ND was born in London, the younger by a year of two sisters.
Lundy, Darryl. “Sir Philip Gordon Dunn, 2nd Bt.”. thePeerage.com: Our Family History: Dunn.
Parker, Peter, editor. The Reader’s Companion to Twentieth-Century Writers. Fourth Estate and Helicon, 1995.
After 1959
ND began her investigative journalism, publishing documentary-style stories in the New Statesman.
Shattock, Joanne. The Oxford Guide to British Women Writers. Oxford University Press, 1993.
By 21 November 1963
ND published her first novel, Up the Junction, with line-drawings by Susan Benson .
Shrapnel, Norman. “Vaguely Villainous”. Times Literary Supplement, No. 3221, p. 941.
941
1965
ND adapted her own fiction volume Up the Junction for television (the BBC 's Wednesday Play series) under the directorship of Ken Loach .
“Nell Dunn”. Alan Brodie Representation: Clients.
Gilbey, Ryan. “Putting the Manifesto before the Movie”. London Review of Books, pp. 34 - 5.
34
By 26 April 1967
ND published her very successful second novel Poor Cow, titled from a word which is a sexual slur.
Punch. Punch Publications.
252: 618
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.
“Nell Dunn”. Alan Brodie Representation: Clients.
Parker, Peter, editor. The Reader’s Companion to Twentieth-Century Writers. Fourth Estate and Helicon, 1995.
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.
Virago Press: 30 Years of Virago.
OCLC WorldCat.

Biography

Birth and Influences

9 June 1936
ND was born in London, the younger by a year of two sisters.
Lundy, Darryl. “Sir Philip Gordon Dunn, 2nd Bt.”. thePeerage.com: Our Family History: Dunn.
Parker, Peter, editor. The Reader’s Companion to Twentieth-Century Writers. Fourth Estate and Helicon, 1995.