Originally published: London : Faber and Faber, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 525-546) and index.
Beginning -- Grandparents -- Parents -- The House -- Childhood -- Growing Up -- Oxford -- Drifting -- The War -- Teaching -- Unpublished Novelist -- Breakthrough -- The Inheritors -- Pincher Martin -- The Brass Butterfly -- Free Fall -- Journalism and Difficulties with The Spire -- America -- The Spire -- The Hot Gates and The Pyramid -- Disaster -- 'The Jam' and a Breackdown -- The Scorpion God and History Of A Crisis -- Gap Years -- Darkness Visible -- Rites of Passage -- A Moving Target and The Paper Men -- The Novel Prize and An Egyptian Journal -- A Move and Close Quarters -- Fire Down Below and Globe-Trotting -- The Double Tongue
In 1953, William Golding was a provincial schoolteacher, rejected by every major publisher--until an editor pulled Lord of the Flies off the rejection pile. He went on to become one of the most popular and influential British authors since World War II--disheveled and darkly humorous, sometimes more disturbing than he is palatable, and above all fascinating. Yet despite the fame and acclaim, the renowned author saw himself as a monster--a reclusive depressive ruled by his fears, who battled alcoholism throughout his life. In addition to being a schoolteacher, Golding was a scientist, a sailor and a poet before becoming a bestselling author, and his embitterment and alienation, his family, the women in his past, along with his war experiences, inform his work. This is the first book to unpack the life and character of a man whose entire oeuvre dealt with the conflict between light and dark in the human soul.--From publisher description.
James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography, 2009.