Sir Kingsley Amis

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Amis, Sir Kingsley

(ā`mĭs), 1922–95, English novelist. He attended St. John's College, Oxford (B.A., 1949) and for some 20 years taught at Oxford, Swansea, and Cambridge and in the United States before he could afford to become a full-time writer. His first and best-known novel, Lucky Jim (1954), a brilliant comic satire on academic life, classified him as one of England's angry young menangry young men,
term applied to a group of English writers of the 1950s whose heroes share certain rebellious and critical attitudes toward society. This phrase, which was originally taken from the title of Leslie Allen Paul's autobiography, Angry Young Man
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. His increasing cultural and social disillusionment together with his seething anger at English propriety, pretense, and snobbery, always well laced with a fine sense of comedy, is also apparent in such other novels as That Certain Feeling (1955) and Take a Girl like You (1960), and often edges into an angry misanthropy and sometimes even a savage misogyny in such later novels as Ending Up (1974), Jake's Thing (1978), Stanley and the Women (1985), The Old Devils (1986; Booker Prize), and The Russian Girl (1994). Of Amis's other works of fiction—he wrote more than 20 novels in all—The Anti-Death League (1966) and Colonel Sun: A James Bond Adventure (1968) are espionage novels, while The Green Man (1969) is a ghost story, Girl, 20 (1971) a comedy, and The Riverside Villas Murder (1973) a mystery. In addition to several volumes of poetry, Amis published numerous nonfiction works, including Socialism and the Intellectuals (1957), What Became of Jane Austen? (1970), and On Drink (1972). He was knighted in 1990.


See his Memoirs (1991); Z. Leader, ed., The Letters of Kingsley Amis (2000); biographies by P. Fussell (1994), E. Jacobs (1995), and Z. Leader (2007); G. Keulks, Father and Son: Kingsley Amis, Martin Amis, and the British Novel since 1950 (2003).

Amis's second wife, Elizabeth Jane Howard, 1923–2014, was also a novelist. The two were married from 1965 to 1983. Realistic and literate, her dozen novels include The Beautiful Visit (1950), After Julius (1965), Odd Girl Out (1971), Getting It Right (1982), and Falling (1999). She is best known for The Cazalet Chronicles, a partially autobiographical novel series that follows a wealthy British family from 1937 through World War II into the 1950s—The Light Years (1990), Marking Time (1991), Confusion (1993), Casting Off (1995), and All Change (2013). She also wrote short stories.


See her memoir, Slipstream (2002).

References in periodicals archive ?
A Kingsley Amis B John Wain C John Braine D Stan Barstow 7.
SIR Kingsley Amis was placed under MI5 "observation" while in the Army at the end of the Second World War because of concerns over his left-wing political views, documents released today reveal.
AUTHOR Kingsley Amis was put under MI5 observation because of fears over his leftwing political views, it has emerged.
What term was applied to the writers John Osborne, Kingsley Amis, John Braine and Colin Wilson?
By: Egypt Today staff CAIRO -- 25 August 2017: August 25 is the 68th birthday of British novelist Martin Amis, who is the son of author Kingsley Amis.
BRITISH novelist Sir Kingsley Amis died at the age of 73.
At one time Howard was known for one thing above all others, her marriage to this country's premier comic novelist, Kingsley Amis, which given its many and varied difficulties survived an astonishing 18 years.
Zachary Leader's The Life of Kingsley Amis (2006) is the biography of record on the famous British author.
Two well-known writers Kingsley Amis and Muriel Spark started their literary careers with booklets of their poems paying for the printing themselves.
I laughed out loud when I read Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis.
Elizabeth Jane Howard went on to marry Kingsley Amis and to write The Cazalet Chronicle, a five-novel sequence (1990-2013).
The book will tell the story of her work, her reading, her family relationships, the men in her life and her marriages, one of which was to novelist Kingsley Amis.