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On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Mark le Claire’s The John Diaries open up to readers the indelible mark left on him by his much derided friend and schizophrenic, John.  Offering a window in the Le Claire’s intriguing life as painter and writer and his many years living in Spain, the diaries catch up with John in his latter years and living in a nursing home in Folkestone.

.The John Diaries

Offering a snapshot of humanity and the strange and cherished relationships that we develop through life, The John Diaries recounts the hand written diaries of the author, painter and writer and his friendship with John, a schizophrenic and soul often derided by those around him.

Mark Le Claire The John Diaries on The Table Read
The John Diaries

Taking the reader from 1984 to 2018, and also sharing the author’s time spent living in Spain, The John Diaries will appeal to those intrigued by human interest stories and with an interest in the arts.  And with John a constant shadowy and tantalising presence, depictions of the friendship between the two men will strike a chord with those living with schizophrenia or supporting those with the condition.

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In these new diaries Vapour Trails in the Blue novelist, Mark le Claire, draws on his unexpected friendship with John, an eccentric person derided by the world, to chart his progress as an artist and writer from 1984 – in the pre-internet and mobile phone era of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher – to 2018, the year before the Corona virus pandemic had begun.

Mark Le Claire

“Starting in 1984, these diaries draw on an unexpected friendship with John, an eccentric person derided by the world, who was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia, whilst also charting my progress as a painter and writer up to 2018.

“Recording my working life as an artist, painting and exhibiting my work widely at home and abroad,John was a key part of my social life, which included wayward excursions made to London or France, convivial sessions spent with friends at “The Over-Seas Club,” or boozy lunchtime outings to pubs and restaurants .

Mark Le Claire on The Table Read
Mark Le Claire

“Moving to Nerja, Spain, in 1989, where, between occasional trips made back to England and painting, I started writing and then publishing my novel, ‘Vapour Trails in the Blue’ which is based on my experiences in Spain during 2007. Returning to live in Folkestone in 2013, The John Diaries cover the later years of John’s life, when he was living in a nursing home in Folkestone.”

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Mark le Claire was born and educated in England, and as an artist exhibited his work widely in England and abroad, having a one man exhibition at the Barbican Centre, London, in 1987, and with examples of his work featuring in a number of public and private collections . He began writing after moving to Spain in 1989, and his novel, “Vapour Trails in the Blue.” was published in 2007.

“The John Diaries” is the second published volume of his personal diaries. He is currently working on a film script set in Spain just after the Civil War. Returning to England from Spain in 2013, Mark le Claire now divided his time between his home in Folkestone and a flat in Tangier, Morocco.

Find The John Diaries now:

Published by Cefas Productions Ltd, The John Diaries are available in hardback  (ISBN: 9780955501937  £12.50) at Waterstones on

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