Tuesday, 8 May 2012
Anthony Howard took over from Richard Crossman as editor of New Statesman in 1972. Soon afterwards Claire Tomalin was appointed as literary editor of the journal. "I was happy to inherit the best established contributors, but I wanted to make something new, and I looked for younger writers." This included Neal Ascherson, Paul Theroux, Clive James, Alan Ryan, Shiva Naipaul, Jonathan Raban, Alison Lurie, Julian Mitchell, Hilary Spurling, Marina Warner, Timothy Mo and Victoria Glendinning. Tomalin was especially impressed with Martin Amiss. "Amis was a contributor and then my assistant. His first novel made me laugh with pleasure at its high spirits, and because he had that rare thing, a voice of his own, not borrowed from anyone else. His speech was unmistakable too, the deep smoker's voice coming as a surprise from his slight frame. He had the presence of a star already. Sure of himself and sure of his taste, he was rude about what he didn't admire, as assured as the most arrogant young Oxbridge don."