Some authors write as though their words have been squeezed out
of a tube then worked into shape with a palette knife. Jane Gardam's writing seems
spilled as effortlessly onto the page as a watercolor wash, deceptively
uncomplicated yet rich in detail, depth and drama. In this companion piece to
the compelling and defiantly funny
, Gardam adds layers of nuance to the lives and
relationships of Edward, known as Eddie, and Elizabeth (Betty) Feathers.
While Old Filth
is narrated primarily from Eddie's point of view, The
Man in the Wooden Hat
focuses more on Elizabeth, and cannily asks whether
we can ever truly know anyone, even ourselves.
(2006), which you don't have to have read to enjoy The Man
in the Wooden Hat
, takes its name from the derogatory acronymn FILTH -
Failed In London Try Hong...
Beyond the Book
The Stanley Internment Camp
Although Elizabeth does not talk about her experience in a
Japanese internment camp during World War II except to mention that her parents
died there, its memory definitely colors her feelings about Hong Kong. While
we do not know for sure, it seems likely that the camp she was interned in was
the Stanley Civilian Camp - a non-segregated camp in the grounds of Stanley
Prison and the neighboring secondary school, St Stephen's College, on the
southern end of Hong Kong's main island. The camp was home to about 2500-2800
civilian men, women and children from January 1942 to August 1945 when the
According to Kevin Blackburn in his book
Forgotten Captives in Japanese Occupied Asia
, within the...