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William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies by John Carey

William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies

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Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography 2010.

Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 3 December 2009.

A detailed and fascinating biography of the author of Lord of the Flies. In this biography Carey does make the point that Golding wrote other novels of equal merit, although perhaps not as well remembered and delves deep in to a complex and interesting character who should be remembered for more than just his first book.


William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies by John Carey

The first authorized biography of one of the foremost novelists of the twentieth century. William Golding was born in 1911 and educated at his local grammar school and Brasenose College, Oxford. He published a volume of poems in 1934 and during the war served in the Royal Navy. After wards he returned to being a schoolmaster in Salisbury. Lord of the Flies , his first novel, was an immediate success, and was followed by a series of remarkable novels, including The Inheritors , Pincher Martin and The Spire . He won the Booker Prize for Rites of Passage in 1980, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983, and was knighted in 1988. He died in 1993.

About the Author

John Carey

John Carey is Emeritus Merton Professor of English at Oxford University, a distinguished critic, reviewer and broadcaster, and the author of many books, including studies of Donne, Dickens and Thackeray. His guide to twentieth century literature, Pure Pleasure, was described by James Wood in the London Review of Books as 'likeable, wise and often right . . . One feels an attractive sense of partisanship in Carey's writing, an alliance with the ordinary, the plain spoken, the unlettered, the sympathetic and the humane. Carey writes with an Orwellian attention to decency'. His celebrated polemic What Good are the Arts? provoked much debate and discussion in 2005. He has been a regular critic on BBC2's Newsnight Review, and is also the editor of the best-selling anthologies The Faber Book of Reportage, The Faber Book of Science and The Faber Book of Utopias.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd September 2010


John Carey

More books by John Carey
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Author's Website


Faber and Faber


592 pages


Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites

Biography: literary



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