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Sir Kingsley Amis
Birth: Apr. 16, 1922
Death: Oct. 22, 1995

British Novelist and Poet. He is probably best remembered for his novel "Lucky Jim." While he is primarily known as a comedic novelist of mid- to late-20th century British life, his literary work extended into many genres, including works of poetry, essays and criticism, short stories, food and drink writing, anthologies, and a number of novels that dealt with science fiction and mystery. He was born Kingsley William Amis in Clapham, South London, the son of a mustard manufacturer's clerk and was raised in Norbury. He received his education at the City of London School on a scholarship after his first year, and in April 1941 was admitted to Saint John's College in Oxford, England, also on a scholarship. While at Oxford he briefly joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in June 1941. The following year he was called up for national service and after serving in the British Royal Corps of Signals in the Second World War, he returned to Oxford in October 1945 to complete his degree, which he earned in 1947 and by that time he decided to become a writer. In 1948 he married Hilary Bardwell and became a lecturer in English at the University of Wales, Swansea from 1949 to 1961. His first novel, "Lucky Jim" (1954) was published to great acclaim, with critics seeing it as having caught the flavor of Britain in the 1950s, ushering in a new style of fiction. The novel satirizes the high-brow academic set of a redbrick university, seen through the eyes of its protagonist, Jim Dixon, as he tries to make his way as a young lecturer of history. It won the Somerset Maugham Award for fiction and he was associated with the writers labeled the Angry Young Men. It became one of the first British campus novels, setting a precedent for later generations of writers such as Malcolm Bradbury, David Lodge, Tom Sharpe and Howard Jacobson. His other novels of the 1950s and early 1960s similarly depict situations from contemporary British life, often drawn from his own experiences. "That Uncertain Feeling" (1955) centers on a young provincial librarian and his temptation towards adultery; "I Like It Here" (1958) demonstrated his contemptuous view of "abroad" and followed upon his own travels on the Continent with a young family; "Take a Girl Like You" (1960) steps away from the immediately autobiographical, but remains entrenched in the concerns of sex and love of ordinary modern life, tracing the courtship and ultimate seduction of the heroine Jenny Bunn by a young schoolmaster, Patrick Standish. In 1961 he left his post at Swansea and became a fellow of Peterhouse, in Cambridge, England which he found to be an academic and social disappointment and resigned in 1963. In 1965 he divorced his wife and married novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, with whom he had been having an affair. His later novels, like "The Anti-Death League" (1966), "The Green Man" (1969), and "The Alteration" (1976) touched on his frustration with a God who could lace the world with such cruelty and injustice, and championed the preservation of ordinary human happiness, in family, friendships, and physical pleasure, against the demands of any cosmological scheme. While he remained nominally on the Left for some time after the war, he eventually moved to the right, a development he discussed in the essay "Why Lucky Jim Turned Right" (1967). His conservatism and anti-communism can be seen in his later works, like his novel "Russian Hide and Seek" (1980). In 1990 he was knighted. During his lifetime, he published 25 novels, 3 short fiction collections, 7 books of poetry, and 11 non-fiction works. In August 1995 he fell, suffering a suspected stroke. After apparently recovering, he worsened, was re-admitted to St Pancras Hospital, London where he died at the age of 73. In 2008, The London Times ranked him ninth on their list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. He is the father of British novelist Martin Amis. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Elizabeth Jane Howard (1923 - 2014)*
 
 Children:
  Sally Myfanwy Amis (1954 - 2000)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Golders Green Crematorium *
Golders Green
London Borough of Barnet
Greater London, England
*Cremation location
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: May 22, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 22458
Sir Kingsley Amis
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Sir Kingsley Amis
Added by: Iain MacFarlaine
 
Sir Kingsley Amis
Added by: Iain MacFarlaine
 
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