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Gordon Bowker is the acclaimed author of a biography of Malcolm Lowry (author of UNDER THE VOLCANO), entitled PURSUED BY FURIES and an excellent biography of George Orwell. He lives in Notting Hill, London.
Inspiring, learned and readable this is the long-awaited, comprehensive biography of the great Irish author James Joyce, who died 70 years ago and who wrote the outstanding novels Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.
Malcolm Lowry was the troubled author of Under the Volcano (1947), a brilliant novel about the last day of an alcoholic former British consul on the Mexican Day of the Dead, the manuscript of which Lowry rescued from the flames when his fisherman's shack burned down in 1944. Lowry's other books were not always so lucky: his first novel, Ultramarine (1930), was stolen after four years' composition and resurrected from a carbon copy; another manuscript, In Ballast to the White Sea, was destroyed in the 1944 fire. An early draft of In Ballast was discovered this century and published in 2014. Lowry's life, like his work, was often lost to chaos; Gordon Bowker's 1994 biography is a masterful account of a life spent adrift.
'Adds enormously to our understanding of the man' Evening Standard George Orwell was one of the greatest writers England produced in the last century. He left an enduring mark on our language and culture, with concepts such as 'Big Brother' and 'Room 101.' His reputation rests not only on his political shrewdness and his sharp satires (Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four) but also on his marvellously clear style and superb essays, which rank with the best ever written. Gordon Bowker's new biography includes fascinating new material which brings Orwell'slife into unfamiliar focus. He writes revealingly about Orwell's family background; the lasting influence of Eton on his work and character; his superstitious streak and youthful flirtation with black magic; and his chaotic and reckless sex life, which included at least one homoerotic relationship. It highlights the strange circumstances of his first marriage and provides remarkable new evidence of his experiences in Spain and their nightmarish consequences. It also offers a fresh look at his peculiar deathbed marriage to a woman fifteen years his junior. All this has enabled Bowker to give Orwell's life a brilliantly fresh and distinctive interpretation.