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Sir Kingsley Amis

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Sir Kingsley Amis Famous memorial

Birth
Clapham, London Borough of Lambeth, Greater London, England
Death
22 Oct 1995 (aged 73)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
Memorial ID
22458 View Source

British Novelist and Poet. He is best remembered for his satirical novels "Lucky Jim" (1954), "One Fat Englishman" (1963), "Ending Up" (1974), "Jake's Thing" (1978), and "The Old Devils" (1986). Primarily known as a comedic novelist, 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. Born Kingsley William Amis, his father was a mustard manufacturer's clerk. He received his education at the City of London School and in April 1941 was admitted to Saint John's College in Oxford, England. While at Oxford he briefly joined the Communist Party of Great Britain. He was called up for national service and after serving in the British Royal Corps of Signals during World War II, he returned to Oxford in October 1945 to complete his degree, which he earned in 1947, and decided to become a writer. From 1949 to 1961 he became a lecturer in English at the University of Wales, Swansea. 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. It won him 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. 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. 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 received a knighthood for his contributions to literature. 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, after suffering a suspected stroke. After apparently recovering, his condition became worse, and 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.

British Novelist and Poet. He is best remembered for his satirical novels "Lucky Jim" (1954), "One Fat Englishman" (1963), "Ending Up" (1974), "Jake's Thing" (1978), and "The Old Devils" (1986). Primarily known as a comedic novelist, 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. Born Kingsley William Amis, his father was a mustard manufacturer's clerk. He received his education at the City of London School and in April 1941 was admitted to Saint John's College in Oxford, England. While at Oxford he briefly joined the Communist Party of Great Britain. He was called up for national service and after serving in the British Royal Corps of Signals during World War II, he returned to Oxford in October 1945 to complete his degree, which he earned in 1947, and decided to become a writer. From 1949 to 1961 he became a lecturer in English at the University of Wales, Swansea. 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. It won him 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. 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. 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 received a knighthood for his contributions to literature. 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, after suffering a suspected stroke. After apparently recovering, his condition became worse, and 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


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 21 May 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 22458
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/22458/kingsley-amis: accessed ), memorial page for Sir Kingsley Amis (16 Apr 1922–22 Oct 1995), Find a Grave Memorial ID 22458, ; Maintained by Find a Grave Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.