A successful sitcom writer with plenty of money, a stable marraige, a platonic mistress and a flash car, Laurence 'Tubby' Passmore has more reason than most to be happy. Yet neither physiotherapy nor aromatherapy, cognitive-behaviour therapy or acupuncture can cure his puzzling knee pain or his equally inexplicable mid-life angst.
As Tubby's life fragments under the weight of his self-obsession, he embarks - via Kierkegaard, strange beds from Rummidge to Tenerife to Beverly Hills, a fit of literary integrity and memories of his 1950s South London boyhood - on a picaresque quest for his lost contentment.
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, David Lodge inherited his artistic genes from his musician father and his Catholic faith from his Irish-Belgian mother. Four years old when World War II began, David grew to maturity through decades of great social and cultural change - giving him plenty to write about.
Candid, witty and insightful, Quite a Good Time to be Born illuminates a period of transition in British society, and charts the evolution of a writer whose works have become classics in his own lifetime.
The first collection of short stories from one of Britain's finest novelists and critics A nameless man who has fallen out of love with life, refuses to get out of bed, with unexpected consequences. A sociologist recalls how he learned his first and formative lesson about the oppressive power of capitalism selling newspapers and magazines up and down the platforms of Waterloo station. Some years before the era of the Pill and the Permissive Society, four university friends travel to the Mediterranean for their first holiday together, where the climate is sultry and sex is on everyone's mind. And a strong-willed young woman defies adverse circumstances to pursue the perfect wedding at all costs.
These are some of the characters that populate David Lodge's shrewd, funny and delightfully entertaining short stories, collected here for the very first time. What prompted their publication in this form is a short story in itself, told by the author in his Foreword.
LONGLISTED FOR THE EDGE HILL SHORT STORY PRIZE 2017
A moving, funny and masterful novel about the life of H.G. Wells - writer, thinker, lover and man of genius.
'The mind is a time machine that travels backwards in memory and forwards in prophecy, but he has done with prophecy now...' Sequestered in his blitz-battered Regent's Park house in 1944, the ailing Herbert George Wells, 'H.G.' to his family and friends, looks back on a life crowded with incident, books, and women. Has it been a success or a failure? Once he was the most famous writer in the world, 'the man who invented tomorrow'; now he feels like yesterday's man, deserted by readers and depressed by the collapse of his utopian dreams.
He recalls his unpromising start, and early struggles to acquire an education and make a living as a teacher; his rapid rise to fame as a writer with a prophetic imagination and a comic common touch which brought him into contact with most of the important literary, intellectual, and political figures of his time; his plunge into socialist politics; his belief in free love, and energetic practice of it. Arguing with himself about his conduct, he relives his relationships with two wives and many mistresses, especially the brilliant student Amber Reeves and the gifted writer Rebecca West, both of whom bore him children, with dramatic and long-lasting consequences.
Unfolding this astonishing story, David Lodge depicts a man as contradictory as he was talented: a socialist who enjoyed his affluence, an acclaimed novelist who turned against the literary novel; a feminist womaniser, sensual yet incurably romantic, irresistible and exasperating by turns, but always vitally human.
A collection of essays on writers and writing by the Booker-shortlisted novelist and critic.
Writing about real lives takes various forms, which overlap and may be combined with each other: biography, autobiography, biographical criticism, biographical fiction, memoir, confession, diary.
In these thoughtful and enlightening essays David Lodge considers some particularly interesting examples of life-writing, and contributes several of his own. The subjects include celebrated modern British writers such as Graham Greene, Kingsley Amis, Muriel Spark and Alan Bennett, and two major figures from the past, Anthony Trollope and H.G.Wells. Lodge examines connections between the style and the man in the diaries of the playwright Simon Gray and the cultural criticism of Terry Eagleton, and recalls how his own literary career was entwined with that of his friend Malcolm Bradbury.
All except one of the subjects (Princess Diana) are or were themselves professionally "in writing", making this collection a kind of casebook of the splendours and miseries of authorship. In a final essay Lodge describes the genesis and compositional method of his recent novel about H.G.Wells, A Man of Parts, and engages with the critical controversies that have been provoked by the increasing popularity of narrative and dramatic writing that combines fact and fiction.
Drawing on David Lodge's long experience as a novelist and critic, Lives in Writing is a fascinating study of the interface between life and literature.
A wonderfully candid and insightful account of a writer's life' William Boyd Luck, good or bad, plays an important part in a writer's career.
In 1976 Lodge was pursuing a 'twin-track career' as novelist and academic but the balancing act was increasingly difficult, and he became a full-time writer just before he published his bestselling novel Nice Work.
Readers of Lodge's novels will be fascinated by the insights this book gives - not only into his professional career but also more personal experience, such as his growing scepticism of his Catholic religion and the challenges of parenting. Anyone who is interested in learning about the creative process and about the life of a writer will find Writer's Luck a candid and entertaining guide.