An amusing, bittersweet coming of age tale set in England in the late 70’s, “Given Circumstances” features young music geek Robert Hopebourne, a teacher new to the profession from a working class background, who finds himself thrown into the deep end at a puzzling school. He must learn to sink or swim as the school also struggles to survive the economic climate.
More Hornby than Hardy, the narrative follows Robert’s adventures and trials as he tries to repay the faith shown in him by cricket-loving Headmaster Spicy. He discovers drugs, teaches drama and literature, falls for PE teacher Miss Dazzle, and eventually faces by far the biggest test of his life with one of his young students.
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About the Curator: Richard Parsons
I’ve been fascinated with writing since I was a youngster; creative writing in English lessons was my favourite part of school life along with swapping music with mates or playing sport.
When I decided to quit teaching after many happy years, I applied for and won a scholarship to do a Masters at Plymouth Uni in Creative Writing. Drama was really the main string to my bow, but I soon became hooked on the idea of crafting short stories, and, eventually, the longer form of narrative. After graduating with a distinction, I cut my teeth writing for women’s magazines, but this was never in my own “voice” and was always formulaic. “Given Circumstances” is the real me.
Hope you enjoy it!