Ten Years After, Forty-Four Years Before


SKU Paperback Category

110 in stock


By Alan James

ISBN: 978-1-84747-005-8
Published: 2006
Pages: 90
Key Themes: homelessness, travel writing, humour, breakdown, alzheimers, carer’s experience

Writing made in the streets doesn’t come better than this. – John Bird, Editor-in-Chief, The Big Issue

Writing the book itself was therapeutic, and when the end product is accepted and then published, there is a sense of achievement on my part that it was worthwhile in the end and something to put on the CV. – Alan James, writing in The Big Issue


Alan James is Chipmunka’s local Big Issue vendor. Chipmunka CEO Jason Pegler met Alan in November 2005 on his pitch in Moorgate, London. Jason was so impressed with Alan witticisms and strength of character that he encouraged him to write about his experiences, Ten Years After, Forty-Four Years Before is the result. Following a nervous breakdown, Alan became homeless and started selling the Big Issue. This book details Alans experiences of selling The Issue all over the UK for over ten years, it describes the characters he has met and some of the situations he has encountered. Alans experiences are rich and varied and his is a delightfully engaging story. He describes in much detail the places he visits, giving this book the feeling of a travel book… with a different perspective!

About the Author

James was born and bought up in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. He left grammar school in 1969 with 6 O Levels and two A Levels. In the same year he went to Peterlee Jazz Club, Co Durham, to see Ten Years After, just after their legendary appearance at Woodstock. A memory that has stayed with him to this day and that inspired him for the title of this book.

Alan attended teacher training college in 1971, but dropped out to sell paintings door to door. He dropped back in again in 1980 and got a second class honours degree in Humanities at Sunderland Poly in 1983. Alan has only ever used this degree to get a job once, in Greece from 1991-93, where he taught English in Athens. Then, after surviving a nervous breakdown, he came back to England where he has been selling the Big Issue all around the UK and for most of the last ten years.


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