Kingsley Amis
English novelist, poet, critic, teacher
Kingsley Amis
Sir Kingsley William Amis, CBE was an English novelist, poet, critic, and teacher. He wrote more than 20 novels, six volumes of poetry, a memoir, various short stories, radio and television scripts, along with works of social and literary criticism. According to his biographer, Zachary Leader, Amis was "the finest English comic novelist of the second half of the twentieth century. " He was the father of English novelist Martin Amis.
Biography
Kingsley Amis's personal information overview.
{{personal_detail.supertitle}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
Photo Albums
Popular photos of Kingsley Amis
Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Kingsley Amis
Show More Show Less
News
News abour Kingsley Amis from around the web
Elegant writing shines in 'Pregnant Widow' - Daily News - Galveston County
Google News - over 5 years
I've never been too taken with his father, Kingsley Amis, but I thought I'd take a chance with Martin's new novel. From the dust jacket comes this explanation: “… between the death of one social order and the birth of another, there exists a state of
Article Link:
Google News article
Welsh tell MP to lighten up over race 'slur' - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
"I was quoting jokes made by Kingsley Amis in The Old Devils. He won the Booker Prize for that, and I get reported to the police." Mr Lewis is keen to downplay suggestions of racism, adding "the irony is that I'm 100 per cent Welsh myself"
Article Link:
Google News article
Not the Booker shortlist reading kicks off - The Guardian (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
I know I'll never look at Martin Amis the same way again thanks to a memorable riff that ended with the line: "with my kingsley amis tall, ruddy, at a drunken angle and my martin amis small and wrinkled and smoking." But I'm also sure I was missing
Article Link:
Google News article
Take back the word gay? You never lost it Mr Katter - Sydney Morning Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Or here, again, is Kingsley Amis, in his recently reissued The King's English (1995): "Gay. The use of this word as an adjective or noun applied to a homosexual has attracted unusually prolonged execration. The 'new' meaning has generally been current
Article Link:
Google News article
Famous Authors Related by Blood or Marriage - Huffington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Then there's Alice Walker (The Color Purple) and her daughter Rebecca Walker, John Cheever and his daughter Susan Cheever, Kingsley Amis and his son Martin Amis, Richard Matheson (I Am Legend) and his son of the same name, brothers Frank McCourt
Article Link:
Google News article
The Insider: Gwen Davies - WalesOnline
Google News - over 5 years
Following his Daily Mail piece last week slamming Bred of Heaven, reviewer Roger Lewis is a dead cert for the Tacsi gong, a Kingsley Amis-sponsored prize for Welsh baiter of the year, previously held by AA Gill
Article Link:
Google News article
The generation gap - Livemint
Google News - over 5 years
To understand how crime fiction changes with every passing generation, let's compare Kingsley Amis, the top-selling comic novelist, with his son Martin Amis, the ironic 1980s postmodernist who was one of the most fascinating speakers at the Jaipur
Article Link:
Google News article
James Bond at the beach - Times of Malta
Google News - over 5 years
I've never been able to figure out why the James Bond novels won the respect of craftsmen like Kingsley Amis and Umberto Eco. Amis, who didn't need the money, tried his hand at continuing the series after Fleming died. Eco called the writing kitsch
Article Link:
Google News article
Never mind the bollocks, here's the Riots - The Witness
Google News - over 5 years
This is from the poison pen of Kingsley Amis, one of the so-called “Angry Young Men”, the loose affiliation of British writers who tore through the fifties, thumbing their noses at class and social conventions. They were lower or middle class,
Article Link:
Google News article
Why I'm dreading turning fifty - Telegraph.co.uk (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Kingsley Amis said he found the decline of his libido a liberating experience and compared his younger self to a man “tethered to a goat”. But I do not relish the prospect of losing my sexual appetite. 3. My children will become teenagers
Article Link:
Google News article
Patrick deWitt Makes Longlist for Man Booker Prize - Willamette Week
Google News - over 5 years
Yes, the Man Booker Prize, the prestigious and ever-contentious British award whose previous winners have included Salman Rushdie, Kingsley Amis, Margaret Atwood and Kazuo Ishiguro. DeWitt's fellow honorees this year include Julian Barnes
Article Link:
Google News article
In short stories, Kingsley Amis reigns supreme - The Australian
Google News - over 5 years
SOME writers of short fiction - there doesn't seem to be a noun to parallel novelist - are dedicated craftsmen, such as Chekhov, Kipling, William Trevor, Alice Munro or VS Pritchett. Others, such as Evelyn Waugh or EM Forster,
Article Link:
Google News article
NONFICTION REVIEW: "Second Reading: Notable and Neglected Books Revisited" - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
So Suetonius' "The Twelve Caesars" is sandwiched in between Margaret Leech's history of Washington, DC, during the Civil War and Kingsley Amis' "Lucky Jim." "Second Reading" is something like the shuffle feature on your MP3
Article Link:
Google News article
Mermaids in the church choir - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
To some, an interest in misericords sounds like the enthusiasm for madrigals of the insufferable Professor Welch in Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim. Misericords, the carved undersides of tip-up wooden seats in the choirs of English
Article Link:
Google News article
Is it curtains for Jilly and Joanna and the middle-class novel? - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Whisper it quietly, but it may be that after Trollope, Kingsley Amis, Wesley and Co, we just don't feel the need to see another drama played out over the scrubbed pine table. But there is one bestselling publishing arena in which middle-class people
Article Link:
Google News article
Paperback Row
NYTimes - over 5 years
FAITHFUL PLACE, by Tana French (Penguin, $16.) Like her two previous mysteries, ''In the Woods'' (2007) and ''The Likeness'' (2008), French's latest is set in Dublin and steeped in local history. When a 22-year-old murder comes to light, Frank Mackey, a tough-minded detective, is pulled back to his poor but proud neighborhood and the family
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Paperback Row - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
Kingsley Amis (1922-95), the English novelist and cultural commentator, was “a man of alarming appetites,” Leader writes. This biography doggedly chronicles Amis's varied and eventful life as measured in books, jobs, friendships, marriages and changes
Article Link:
Google News article
Flouting all those pieties - Spectator.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Kingsley Amis was very much an author who, in his larger works, would try something out, see what success it had and then move on to something else. His novels of the late 1960s and early 1970s, which was in many ways his most confident and interesting
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Kingsley Amis
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1995
    Age 72
    In August 1995 he fell, suffering a suspected stroke.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1990
    Age 67
    Amis was knighted in 1990.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1986
    Age 63
    Amis was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize three times in his writing career for Ending Up (1974), Jake's Thing (1978), and finally winning the prize for The Old Devils in 1986.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1983
    Age 60
    She and Amis divorced in 1983.
    More Details Hide Details In his last years, Amis shared a house with his first wife Hilary and her third husband, Alastair Boyd, 7th Baron Kilmarnock. Martin wrote the memoir Experience about the life, charm, and decline of his father.
  • FORTIES
  • 1970
    Age 47
    Amis's literary style and tone changed significantly after 1970, with the possible exception of The Old Devils, a Booker Prize winner.
    More Details Hide Details Several critics accused him of being old fashioned and misogynistic. His Stanley and the Women, an exploration of social sanity, could be said to instance these traits. Others said that his output lacked the humanity, wit, and compassion of earlier efforts. This period also saw Amis the anthologist, a role in which his wide knowledge of all kinds of English poetry was on display. The New Oxford Book of Light Verse (1978), which he edited, was a revision of the original volume done by W. H. Auden. Amis took the anthology in a markedly new direction: Auden had interpreted light verse to include "low" verse of working-class or lower-class origin, regardless of subject matter, while Amis defined light verse as essentially light in tone, though not necessarily simple in composition. The Amis Anthology (1988), a personal selection of his favourite poems, grew out of his work for a London newspaper, in which he selected a poem daily and presented it with a brief introduction.
  • 1968
    Age 45
    In 1968 Amis wrote Colonel Sun, which was published under the pseudonym "Robert Markham".
    More Details Hide Details
    Some of these pieces were collected in 1968’s What Became of Jane Austen? and Other Essays, in which Amis’s wit and literary and social opinions were on display ranging over books such as Colin Wilson’s The Outsider (panned), Iris Murdoch’s debut novel Under the Net (praised), or William Empson’s Milton’s God (inclined to agree with).
    More Details Hide Details Amis’s opinions on books and people tended to appear (and often, be) conservative, and yet, as the title essay of the collection shows, he was not merely reverent of "the classics" and of traditional morals, but was more disposed to exercise his own rather independent judgment in all things. Amis became associated with Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, which he greatly admired, in the late 1960s, when he began composing critical works connected with the fictional spy, either under a pseudonym or uncredited. In 1965, he wrote the popular The James Bond Dossier under his own name. That same year, he wrote The Book of Bond, or, Every Man His Own 007, a tongue-in-cheek how-to manual about being a sophisticated spy, under the pseudonym "Lt Col. William ('Bill') Tanner", Tanner being M's Chief of Staff in many of Fleming's Bond novels.
    In 1968 he moved with Howard to Lemmons, a house in Barnet, north London.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1967
    Age 44
    In 1967, Amis, Robert Conquest, John Braine and several other right-wing authors signed a controversial letter to The Times entitled "Backing for U.S. Policies in Vietnam", supporting the US government in the Vietnam War.
    More Details Hide Details He spoke at the Adam Smith Institute, arguing against government subsidy to the arts. Amis was by his own admission and as revealed by his biographers a serial adulterer for much of his life. This was one of the main contributory factors in the breakdown of his first marriage. A famous photograph of a sleeping Amis on a Yugoslav beach shows the slogan (written by wife Hilly) on his back "1 Fat Englishman – I fuck anything". In one of his memoirs, Amis wrote: "Now and then I become conscious of having the reputation of being one of the great drinkers, if not one of the great drunks, of our time". He suggests that this is the result of a naïve tendency on the part of his readers to apply the behaviour of his characters to himself. This was disingenuous; the fact was that he enjoyed drink, and spent a good deal of his time in pubs. Hilary Rubinstein, who accepted Lucky Jim for publication at Victor Gollancz, commented: "I doubted whether Jim Dixon would have gone to the pub and drunk ten pints of beer... I didn't know Kingsley very well, you see." Clive James comments: "All on his own, he had the weekly drinks bill of a whole table at the Garrick Club even before he was elected. After he was, he would get so tight there that he could barely make it to the taxi."
  • 1965
    Age 42
    Amis was married a second time, to the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard from 1965 to 1983, with whom he had no children.
    More Details Hide Details At the end of his second marriage, he went to live with his ex-wife Hilary and her third husband, in a deal brokered by their two sons Philip and Martin, so that he could be cared for until his death. Novels Short fiction collections Other short fiction Richard Aldington – Kenneth Allott – Matthew Arnold – Kenneth Ashley – W. H. Auden – William Barnes – Oliver Bayley – Hilaire Belloc – John Betjeman – Laurence Binyon – William Blake – Edmund Blunden – Rupert Brooke – Robert Browning – Robert Burns – Thomas Campbell – Thomas Campion – G. K. Chesterton – Hartley Coleridge – Robert Conquest – W. J. Cory – John Davidson – Donald Davie – C. Day Lewis – Walter de la Mare – Ernest Dowson – Michael Drayton – Lawrence Durrell – Jean Elliot – George Farewell – James Elroy Flecker – Thomas Ford – Roy Fuller – Robert Graves – Thomas Gray – Fulke Greville – Heath – Reginald Heber – Felicia Dorothea Hemans – W. E. Henley – George Herbert – Ralph Hodgson – Thomas Hood – Teresa Hooley – Gerard Manley Hopkins – A. E. Housman – Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey – T. E. Hulme – Leigh Hunt – Elizabeth Jennings – Samuel Johnson – John Keats – Henry King – Charles Kingsley – Rudyard Kipling – Philip Larkin – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – John Lydgate – H. F. Lyte – Louis MacNeice – Andrew Marvell – John Masefield – Alice Meynell – Harold Monro – William Morris – Edwin Muir – Henry Newbolt – Alfred Noyes – Wilfred Owen – Thomas Love Peacock – George Peele – Alexander Pope – Frederic Prokosch – Walter Ralegh – John Crowe Ransom – Christina Rossetti – Siegfried Sassoon – John Skelton – Robert Southey – Edmund Spenser – Sir John Squire – Robert Louis Stevenson – John Suckling – Algernon Charles Swinburne – George Szirtes – Alfred, Lord Tennyson – Dylan Thomas – Edward Thomas – R. S. Thomas – Francis Thompson – Anthony Thwaite – Chidiock Tichborne – Aurelian Townsend – W. J. Turner – Oscar Wilde – John Wilmot, Lord Rochester – Roger Woddis – Charles Wolfe – William Wordsworth – William Butler Yeats – Andrew Young
    He divorced Hilary in 1965 and married Howard the same year.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1963
    Age 40
    In 1963, Hilary discovered Amis's love affair with novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard.
    More Details Hide Details Hilary and Amis separated in August, and he went to live with Howard.
    He regretted the move within a year, finding Cambridge an academic and social disappointment and resigned in 1963, intent on moving to Majorca; he went no farther than London.
    More Details Hide Details
  • THIRTIES
  • 1958
    Age 35
    During 1958–1959 he made the first of two visits to the United States, where he was Visiting Fellow in Creative Writing at Princeton University and a visiting lecturer in other northeastern universities.
    More Details Hide Details On returning to Britain, he fell into a rut, and he began looking for another post; after thirteen years at Swansea, Amis became a fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge (1961–1963).
  • TWENTIES
  • 1946
    Age 23
    In 1946 he met Hilary Bardwell; they married in 1948 after she became pregnant with their first child, Philip.
    More Details Hide Details Amis initially arranged for her to have a back-street abortion, but changed his mind, fearing for her safety. He became a lecturer in English at the University of Wales, Swansea (1949–1961). Two other children followed: Martin in August 1949 and Sally in January 1954. Days after Sally's birth, Amis's first novel Lucky Jim was published to great acclaim; critics saw it as having caught the flavour of Britain in the 1950s, ushering in a new style of fiction. By 1972, in addition to impressive sales in Britain, one and a quarter million paperback copies had been sold in the United States, and it was eventually translated into twenty languages, including Polish, Hebrew, Korean, and Serbo-Croat. The novel won the Somerset Maugham Award for fiction and Amis was associated with the writers labelled the Angry Young Men. Lucky Jim was 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. As a poet, Amis was associated with The Movement.
  • 1945
    Age 22
    After serving in the Royal Corps of Signals in the Second World War, Amis returned to Oxford in October 1945 to complete his degree.
    More Details Hide Details Although he worked hard and earned in 1947 a first in English, he had by then decided to give much of his time to writing.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1942
    Age 19
    After only a year, in July 1942, he was called up for national service.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1941
    Age 18
    While at Oxford, in June 1941, Amis joined the Communist Party of Great Britain.
    More Details Hide Details
    He was educated at the City of London School on a scholarship, after his first year, and in April 1941 was admitted to St. John's College, Oxford, also on a scholarship, where he read English.
    More Details Hide Details It was there that he met Philip Larkin, with whom he formed the most important friendship of his life.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1922
    Born
    Born on April 16, 1922.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)