Kingsley William Amis, CBE, 1922 - 1995

portrait of Kingsley Amis
Promoting The Old Devils (1986 or 1987)

Born: 16 April 1922, Clapham, South London, England, UK
Died: 22 October 1995, London, England, UK

Amis was raised by "culpably boring" parents, his father was a clerk at Colman's Mustard. He was educated at City of London School, entering St John's College, Oxford in 1941. The next year he was called up for the war effort, serving in the Royal Corps of Signals. He returned to Oxford in 1945, joined the Communist Party (he got over it later) and met his first wife Hilary the next year (married 1948). He lectured in English at the University of Wales Swansea from 1949 to 1961. His first novel, Lucky Jim, was published in 1954. In 1963 Hilary discovered Amis' affair with novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, Amis married Howard (1965 - 1983), his sons arranged from him to then live under the same roof with Hilary and her third husband for his remaining years. Although an above-average drinker who actually wrote three novels about drinking, he steadfastly wrote 500 words every day before taking his first drink. He wrote twenty novels, several volumes of poetry, short stories, radio and television scripts, and social criticism. He was the first novelist to pick up the James Bond series after the death of Ian Fleming with three volumes, one under his own name. He was knighted in 1990, suffered a stroke in August of 1995 and declined until his death at St Pancras Hospital, London.

Biography from Wikipedia and Author's Calendar

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