The Life of Kingsley Amis

Front Cover
Vintage, 2007 - Novelists, English - 996 pages
5 Reviews
The eagerly-awaited authorized biography of Kingsley Amis.

In this, the authorized biography, Zachary Leader argues that Kingsley Amis was not only the finest comic novelist of his generation, but the dominant figure of post-war British writing.

Drawing not only on interviews with a range of Amis’s friends, relatives, fellow writers, students and colleagues, many of them never before consulted, but also on almost a thousand previously unpublished letters, Leader’s biography will for the first time give a full picture of Amis’s childhood, school-days, life as a teacher, critic, polemicist, professional author, husband, father and lover. He explores Amis’s fears and phobias, and the role that drink played in his life. And of course he pays due attention to Amis’s work.

As the editor of Kingsley Amis’s Letters (hailed in the Sunday Telegraph as “one of the last major monuments to the epistolary art”), Leader is more than qualified to be his authorized biographer. His book will surprise, entertain and illuminate.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Review: The Life of Kingsley Amis

User Review  - Dan Honeywell - Goodreads

Like most biographers about writers, the early years are difficult to get into. But when the writing years begin, you're engrossed. I enjoyed this, the good and bad about Mr. Amis. He was a great talent, witty, inciteful, and one of the writers I've enjoyed the most. Read full review

Review: The Life of Kingsley Amis

User Review  - Bill Peschel - Goodreads

Loved this book. Full of great details used in Writers Gone Wild and its (I hope) sequel. Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Zachary Leader is Professor of English Literature at Roehampton University. His books include On Modern British Fiction (2002) and Revision and Romantic Authorship (1999). His editing of Kingley Amis's Letters was described as 'omniscient' by John Carey in the Sunday Times, 'wondrously thorough' by Ian Hamilton in the London Review of Books, and 'exemplary' by David Lodge in the Times Literary Supplement.

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