A Touch of the Sun
Cover Design by Ruth Sheradski
Mr Sansom follows the very great success of The Face of Innocence with some of the finest stories he has yet given to his readers. Their astonishing varietyis evidence of a high creative imagination at work. In subject the stories range from a razor fight in a basement barber's shop to a love affair in Venice, from an encounter with a madman in an empty biliards saloon to a remarkable affair among the snoy heights of Austria. There is, too, a wide variety of scene: Paris, Venice, the Tyrol and a touch of the Spanish sun alternate with the darker alleys of London and the false brightnesses of Surrey.
Widely different as these stories are in theme and setting, they have two qualities in common whcih bind them into an unmistakable whole. They are stories with a tenseness of plot, a beginning and an end, andw ith curious undertones of meaning. And they are brilliantly observed from the unusual angle and written with the delight in supple, disciplined English, that stamp Mr Sansom as on eof our most distinguised writers.
How glad I am that William Sansom was born and is alive...the dozen stories in this book are, in their own way, perfect.
This latest book adds immensely to his stature as a writer and a magician. He can realize any detail with a sentence. A Touch of the Sun has more than a touch of genius.
Oswell Blakeston, Time and Tide
A fine descriptive writer, Mr Sansom is often dazzling. He writes, as usual, with a remarkable combination of power and irony.
Mr Sansom, a short story writer of great force and depth, views arresting themes from an unusual angle, and can make equally vivid the sinister visit of achimney-sweep and a fight with razzors in Soho barber's shop. He captrues the atmosphere of places, the glittering air and stinks of Venice, the wistfulness of lost grandeur at Bad Gastein. He has a penetrating sense of character and mood - the dhildlike simplicity of a gondolier, teh feeble love of a conventional manfor a saleswoman in a gardenign shop, a little boy faced with a burglar.
Whether the macabre romantic forest has been cut down, or writers ahve simply walled it off, we are certainly and deplorably deprived of the use of it. The major importance of Mr Sansom is that he is simultaneously trying to tunnel through and to grow enchanter's nightshade in his own backgarden. He is a link in an unfinished chain of long term literary history, a carteake to keep the lost domain of Arnheim green and prevent the crack in teh House of USher from closing. These tales seem to me more serenly beautiful than anything he has written previously.
A stimulating and rewarding book. He never loses sight of the mysterious and stirring quality of life itself.
How glad I am that William Sansom was born and is alive...the dozen stories in this book are, in their own way perfect.