Charley Is My Darling
(Harper & Brothers Publishers, March 15, 1959)
Charley is a love and a terror, a gifted and imaginative boy such as Gulley Jimson might have been. he is the hero of this sad, tender, hilarious novel, one of the most memorable Joyce Carey ever wrote, and it is high time he was introduced to American readers. Of Charley iIs My Darling, Joyce Cary said in a prefatory essay to the Carfax Edition: "Charley is a small boy, an evacuee, sent to the West Country from a London Slum. He is found to have a dirty head and has to be shaved. This gives him a bad start with the other evacuees, who, jostling for position among themselves, unite to jeer at him. But being a child with imagination and nerve, he recovers his position and self respect, and finally becomes the leader of gangs by various bold enterprises which land him in the courts.