Black List Section H
by Francis Stuart
Publication Date: 19 May 1995
This remarkable and powerful novel is described by Francis Stuart himself as an imaginative fiction in which only real people appear, and under their actual names where possible’, and it is generally agreed to be his masterpiece.
Originally published in 1971 in the USA, now published for the first time in Ireland, it bears witness to the dilemmas presented by love and art, following H through his disastrous marriage to Iseult Gonne, the Irish Civil War, interment, and life as a writer, poultry farmer, racehorse owner and bohemian in 1930s London, before his defection’ to Berlin for the duration of the Second World War.
The painstaking, unsettling story of H’s search for authenticity under exilic conditions of dishonor and European collapse is one of spiritual quest. Branded a fascist because of ambivalent associations with Nazi Germany-his books were banned until Victor Gollancz risked ostracism by publishing him in the 1940s-Stuart cultivates and embodies the art of the outsider.
‘A book of the finest imaginative distinction’ -Lawrence Durrell, The New York Times Book Review
‘The strangest book of a strange career….Mr. Stuart is of Rimbaud’s damned and illuminated company’ -Robert Nye, The Guardian
‘Riveting autobiographical fiction…this chilling odyssey is both extreme and complicated; its power and strangeness, as well as the half-lit world it recalls, make it an underground classic which should now receive the attention it deserves’. -Roy Foster, The Sunday Times