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The Lowry Lounge

  • Sat, 25 Oct 2014
  • 11.00 AM - 6.00 PM
  • Location: The Bluecoat and city centre
  • Tickets: Walk £5 / talk £5 / combined £8/ book launch free

Annual celebration of Merseyside-born writer Malcolm Lowry (Under the Volcano), including the UK book launch of his 'lost' novel, In Ballast to the White Sea (University of Ottawa Press), talks by its editor Patrick McCarthy, professor of English at the University of Miami, and Iain Sinclair, who follows Lowry's footsteps in his recent book American Smoke, and a city centre walk led by Colin Dilnot.

In Ballast to the White Sea is autobiographical, Lowry’s longest and most ambitious project 
of the mid-1930s, and was thought to have been lost in a fire, but was later discovered in the 
New York Public Library after it become known his first wife, Jan Gabrial, still had a typescript 
of the book. Now, almost sixty years after Lowry’s death, the first published edition (University 
of Ottawa Press) will be launched at this day-long event. The typescript has probably been 
read by at most a dozen people since Lowry scholars learned of its existence. 

Partly set in Liverpool, the book’s annotations have been compiled with the help of New 
Brighton Lowry expert Colin Dilnot who will lead a guided walk round the city centre, visiting 
sites relating to the book and to Lowry’s childhood years on Merseyside.

The Lowry Lounge also features leading UK writer, Iain Sinclair, who will be talking about Lowry in relation to his 2013 book American Smoke, which follows in the footsteps of American Beat writers and of Lowry, whose writing in many ways anticipated theirs.

The book launch itself will be introduced by the editor of In Ballast to the White Sea, Patrick McCarthy, professor of English at the University of Miami, and Vik Doyen, who edited Swinging the Maelstrom, the first of a series of three University of Ottawa publications of Lowry's work.

The Lounge also includes the launch of the latest edition of The Firminist, an occasional journal dedicated to all things Lowry.

Malcolm Lowry (1909-57) was born in New Brighton and grew up in Caldy on the River Dee side of the Wirral. Following graduation from Cambridge, he lived in London, New York, Mexico and Los Angeles before moving to the outskirts of Vancouver, Canada in 1939. This move marked the start of a startlingly fertile period in his career as a 20th literary century figure. His masterpiece, Under the Volcano (1947), is one of the last great modernist books, ‘one of the towering novels of [the twentieth] century’ (New York Times), and acknowledged by Gabriel García Márquez for its hidden mysteries.

Tickets: Walk (11am-1pm) £5/ Iain Sinclair talk (2-3.30pm) £5/combined ticket £8/ book launch (4-6pm) free

To book, please contact Tickets & information on 0151 702 5324 /

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Bluecoat is Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, the oldest in the UK. Our landmark building, located in the ...

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Tickets & Information

0151 702 5324 |

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