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Quite A Good Time to be Born A Memoir: 1935-1975

by David Lodge

Biography / Autobiography

Quite A Good Time to be Born A Memoir: 1935-1975 Synopsis

'I drew my first breath on the 28th of January 1935, which was quite a good time for a future writer to be born in England...' The only child in a lower-middle-class London family, who got his artistic genes from his musician father and his Catholic faith from his Irish-Belgian mother, David Lodge was four when World War II began and grew to maturity through decades of great social and cultural change, giving him plenty to write about in his distinguished career. In this memoir of his life up to the publication of his breakthrough book, Changing Places, David looks back over his childhood and youth, including his undergraduate years at University College London, where he met Mary, his future wife, in freshers' week. After National Service, and two years' postgraduate research, married at last and soon a father, he struggles to make a start as both novelist and academic, until a lucky break brings him a job at the University of Birmingham and a stimulating friendship with a colleague of similar ambition, Malcolm Bradbury. A promising career anchored on a happy marriage opens up, full of opportunities for travel, enjoyment of exciting new trends and interesting new friends, but also intertwined with unexpected setbacks and challenges, both professional and personal. Candid, witty and insightful, illuminating both the author and his work, Quite a Good Time to be Born gives a fascinating picture of a period of transition in British society and the evolution of a writer who has become a classic in his own lifetime.

The Good Book Guide Review

David Lodge is one of the most consistently successful and popular novelists of his generation and, as the winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year as well as being shortlisted for the Booker Prize on two occasions, he is well-respected by his peers. The publication of this enjoyable memoir coincides with Lodge’s 80th birthday and covers the first half of his life. Its content clearly shows the inspiration for many novels, as well as the title of the book. Growing up in post-war Britain, Lodge experienced a great deal of social change and his experiences whether doing National Service or as an academic at Birmingham University, where he met fellow writer Malcolm Bradbury, provided him with the material for his early novels. This was especially true with his breakthrough book Changing Places, which was based on Lodge’s experiences teaching at Berkeley, California. Lodge also writes movingly about his faith and his family, both of which are so important to him.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781846559501
Publication date: 29/01/2015
Publisher: Harvill Secker an imprint of Vintage
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781846559501
Publication date: 29th January 2015
Author: David Lodge
Publisher: Harvill Secker an imprint of Vintage
Format: Hardback
Genres: Biography / Autobiography,

About David Lodge

David Lodge was born in London in 1935. He was educated at University College London, where he took his BA degree in 1955 and his MA in 1959. In between he did National Service in the British Army. He holds a doctorate from the University of Birmingham, where he taught in the English Department from 1960 until 1987, when he retired to become a full-time writer. He retains the title of Honorary Professor of Modern English Literature at Birmingham and continues to live in that city. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.Photograph © Arturo Patten

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