Kristin Bluemel, Ph.D., professor of English and Wayne D. McMurray Endowed Chair in the Humanities, has edited a new book entitled “Blitz Writing: Night Shift and It Was Different at the Time.”
The book, inspired by the life of ordinary citizens during the 1940–1941 German bombing campaign against Britain known as the London Blitz, includes a novel and a memoir written by wartime author Inez Holden.
Holden was a jazz age party girl turned radical socialist who was an intimate friend of George Orwell. Holden’s novel “Night Shift” was based on her experiences as a factory worker during the ferocious night bombings of the first London Blitz. Also included in “Blitz Writing” is the memoir “It Was Different at the Time,” Holden’s record of what happened to ordinary Londoners when they rose each morning to confront the wreckage of their homes and lives.
After ten years of teaching from photocopies, Bluemel found a publisher for Holden’s lost works. Kate Macdonald, founder and editor of Handheld Press in Bath, England, will launch “Blitz Writing” as a Handheld Classic at an event in London’s Second Shelf bookstore on May 31.