Stanley Middleton, novelist, dies.

We are sad to record the passing of Stanley Middleton, novelist, who died on Sunday morning, aged 89. A provincial writer, who lived in Nottingham, for many years Stanley taught English at High Pavement Grammar School, where one of his pupils was Philip Davis. Some of his teaching passed into this Reader project and shaped it. Stan was an encouraging supporter of The Reader magazine since it was founded in 1997.

Some of Stan’s poems appeared in The Reader 34, where, of the dead crowding his memory he writes,

I join them gladly, see myself

As nothing special, hardly mark

Remarking, but dust again, ash

A hapless pinch on the surface of the earth

And in another poem, of prayer, he writes

It is as if

God begged me to speak

To Him, say anything, anything.

Who’d ask a frog to croak?

No frog’s croak, his careful observant writing recorded in more than forty novels how it felt to be that ‘nothing special… hapless pinch’ .

He will be missed by a loving family and by many friends, ex-pupils and readers.

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EDIT 30/07/09:

Phil Davis, editor of The Reader, who was taught by Stanley Middleton at school in Nottingham, has written a moving obituary of his old teacher in the Guardian.

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