A collection of essays on writers and writing by the Booker-shortlisted novelist and critic.
A collection of essays on writers and writing by the Booker-shortlisted novelist and critic.Writing about real lives takes various forms, which overlap and may be combined with each other- biography, autobiography, biographical criticism, biographical fiction, memoir, confession, diary. In these thoughtful and enlightening essays David Lodge considers some particularly interesting examples of life-writing, and contributes several of his own. The subjects include celebrated modern British writers such as Graham Greene, Kingsley Amis, Muriel Spark and Alan Bennett, and two major figures from the past, Anthony Trollope and H.G.Wells. Lodge examines connections between the style and the man in the diaries of the playwright Simon Gray and the cultural criticism of Terry Eagleton, and recalls how his own literary career was entwined with that of his friend Malcolm Bradbury. All except one of the subjects (Princess Diana) are or were themselves professionally "in writing", making this collection a kind of casebook of the splendours and miseries of authorship. In a final essay Lodge describes the genesis and compositional method of his recent novel about H.G.Wells, A Man of Parts, and engages with the critical controversies that have been provoked by the increasing popularity of narrative and dramatic writing that combines fact and fiction. Drawing on David Lodge?s long experience as a novelist and critic, Lives in Writing is a fascinating study of the interface between life and literature.
David Lodge (CBE)?s novels include Changing Places, Small World and Nice Work (shortlisted for the Booker) and, most recently, A Man of Parts. He has also written plays and screenplays, and several books of literary criticism. His works have been translated into more than thirty languages. He is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at Birmingham, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and is a Chevalier de l?Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
"Lodge is a clear, sceptical writer, wise about things and a careful reader and in general kind even to people who plainly irritate him" -- Sam Leith Spectator "Lodge's animating spark is his sedulousness, his ability to marshal the facts, pronounce a judgement and then subtly qualify it" -- DJ Taylor Independent on Sunday "Lodge, too original a writer to set down a conventional autobiography, re-veals himself in fragments, an anecdote here, a recollection there. The collection, then, is a kind of trick: portraits of others disguising a book about himself... This is a hybrid work, well-suited to its hybrid author - rooted in fact but entranced by fiction" -- Sophie Elmhirst Financial Times "The shrewd, amused intellect that Lodge brings to bear makes this collection a consistent pleasure... Wise and genial" -- Tim Martin The Times "Generous but discriminating, lucid without sacrificing complexity" -- Theo Tait Sunday Times
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