James Curtis belongs to a tradition of novelists, Patrick Hamilton among them, whose left-wing politics shapes not only their lives but also their fiction. Curtis used his plots to highlight the unfairness of society and dearth of opportunity that all too often leads people to break the law. The Gilt Kid (first published in 1936) focuses on a convicted burglar and Communist sympathiser, freshly realeased from prison who wastes little time in plunging back to the London underworld, a milieu that few writers have depicted with such empathy and clarity. This new edition includes an introduction by Paul Willetts.
London Books, 9780955185120