William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies is the first biography of the Nobel Prize-winning novelist William Golding by celebrated writer and critic John Carey.
John Carey is Emeritus Merton Professor of English Literature at Oxford University, a distinguished critic, reviewer and broadcaster, and the author of several books, including studies of Donne, Dickens and Thackeray, as well as The Intellectuals and the Masses. He is the editor of Faber anthologies of Reportage, Utopias and Science. His most recent book, What Good are the Arts? was praised by Blake Morrison as 'incisive and inspirational.'
Carey (English, emeritus, Oxford Univ.; What Good Are the Arts?) has produced the first biography of the Nobel Prize-winning English novelist (there have, of course, been many critical studies). The subtitle of this book is ironic because Golding (1911-93) wrote many other novels besides Lord of the Flies, but most readers still associate his name with only his first book. Carey, who met Golding a number of times, sympathetically presents a portrait of a famous writer who throughout his career lacked self-confidence and felt keenly his earlier rejections. Carey is especially good at describing the themes of Golding's many works, especially his constant use of oppositions, such as science vs. faith. He had the complete cooperation of Golding's two children and close friends and colleagues, as well as access to the personal journal that Golding kept for many years, an important source. Golding's close relationship with Charles Monteith, his discoverer and editor at Faber & Faber, is touchingly conveyed. VERDICT Especially recommended for fans of Golding's writings as well as anyone interested in mid- to late 20th-century British fiction, whether general readers or undergraduates. (Photographs not seen.)-Morris Hounion, New York City Coll. of Technology Lib., CUNY Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.