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‘We only ever see the second half of our parents’ lives — the downhill part. The golden years we have to piece together. . .’

P R A I S E F O R PAT I E N T ASUNDAYTIMESANDMAILONSUNDAYBOOKOFTHEYEAR ANEWYORKTIMESNOTABLEBOOKOFTHEYEAR

‘Ben Wa’s harrowing, candid account . . . lives on in the mind — a fine testimonial to his fortitude and his powers as a writer’ WILLIAM BOYD, SUNDAY TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR

‘Wa is made of particularly fine stuff, possessed of a shining intelligence’ PENNY PERRICK, THE TIMES

‘Vivid and honest . . . he writes with a songwriter’s eye for the telling phrase’ ROBERT McCRUM, OBSERVER

‘Quiet elegance and ringing epiphanic lyricism. Wa’s writing shares these qualities and his book is a nearly flawless telling’ NEW YORKER Photographs courtesy of the author. Author photograph © Edward Bishop

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B E N WAT T

‘Wa is such a responsible, de writer that you feel straightaway you’re in good hands. He doesn’t want your sympathy — he wants to tell you something about the world’ WILLIAM LEITH, MAIL ON SUNDAY

Design by Greg Heinimann, based on an idea by Ben Wa

TO M

@ben__wa www.benwa.com

MICK BROWN, DAILY TELEGRAPH

AND

Born in 1962, Ben Wa is a musician, songwriter, DJ and author. His first book, Patient: The True Story of a Rare Illness, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, voted a Sunday Times Book of the Year by William Boyd and shortlisted for the Esquire Non-fiction Book of the Year. He is perhaps most well known for his twenty-year career in alt-pop duo Everything But The Girl (1982—2002). He is also an international club and radio DJ, and since 2003 has run his own independent record labels Buzzin’ Fly and Strange Feeling. Having recently returned to songwriting and live performance, his first solo album for thirty years is expected in 2014. He lives in north London with his wife Tracey Thorn and their three children.

‘Astonishingly assured . . . by turns terrifying, mordantly funny and intensely moving’

ROMANY

ESQUIRENON-FICTIONBOOKOFTHEYEARFINALIST

ROMANY AND

TO M B E N WAT T

Ben Wa’s father, Tommy, was a working-class Glaswegian jazz musician, a politicised le-wing bandleader and a composer. His heyday in the late Fiies took him into the gliering heart of London’s West End, where he broadcast live with his own orchestra from the BBC’s Paris Theatre and played nightly with his quintet at the glamorous Quaglino’s. Ben’s mother, Romany, the daughter of a Methodist parson, schooled at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, was a RADA-trained Shakespearian actress, who had triplets in her first marriage before becoming a leading showbiz feature writer and columnist in the Sixties and Seventies. They were both divorcees from very different backgrounds who came together like colliding trains at a fateful New Year’s Day party in 1957. Romany and Tom — the follow-up to his acclaimed debut Patient — is Ben Wa’s honest, sometimes painful and oen funny portrait of his parents’ exceptional lives and marriage, told as a personal journey from his own wideeyed London childhood, through years as an adult with children and a career of his own, to that inevitable point at which we must assume responsibility for our parents in their old age. Covering several decades — and drawing on a rich seam of family leers, souvenirs, photographs, public archives and personal memories — it is a vivid story of the post-war years, ambition and stardom, family roots and secrets, the death of British big band jazz, depression and drink, life in clubs and in care homes, and a strange alliance with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. It is also about who we are, where we come from and how we love and live with each other for a long time.

£16.99

Profile for Bloomsbury Publishing

Romany and Tom by Ben Watt -- Extract  

An extraordinary achievement. A moving, funny and beautifully written memoir by musician, DJ and writer Ben Watt which carefully chronicles...

Romany and Tom by Ben Watt -- Extract  

An extraordinary achievement. A moving, funny and beautifully written memoir by musician, DJ and writer Ben Watt which carefully chronicles...

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