Francis King

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Morality tales

18 June 2011 12:00 am

Francis King celebrates Margaret Drabble’s distinguished career and vividly recalls their first meeting

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A constant delight

12 March 2011 12:00 am

Francis King would like to raise a metaphorical glass to his friend Sybille Bedford on the approaching centenary of her birth

Miracles of compression

1 January 2011 12:00 am

In the course of a lifetime of fiction reviewing, I have come to the conclusion that, though my colleagues are prepared doggedly to persevere with the reading of a novel from its muddled opening to its inconsequential end, they will read no more than four or five stories in a collection.

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The odd couple

13 November 2010 12:00 am

Some years ago now I bought from the artist Robert Buhler a pastel portrait of the composer Lennox Berkeley (reproduced above).

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The witch in the machine

18 September 2010 12:00 am

If one asks Albanians who is their greatest living writer, the immediate answer is Ismail Kadare, winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize in 2005.

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Why, oh why?

14 August 2010 12:00 am

In my many years as a judge for the J. R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography, I have been constantly surprised by the high proportion of books that deal with the subject of adoption.

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Not as sweet as he seemed

16 June 2010 12:00 am

There are already three biographies of E. M. Forster: P. N. Furbank’s two- volume, authorised heavyweight; Nicola Beauman’s less compendious, more engaging middleweight; and my own bantamweight, little more than an extended essay.

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Short and sweet

19 May 2010 12:00 am

This little book of limericks, some as hard and glittering as shards of mica but a few surprisingly pallid and limp, at once presents a puzzle: the real name of an author is no more likely to be Jeff Chaucer than the real name of the author of a play would be Billie Shakespeare.

A great novelist

14 December 2009 12:00 am

In a remarkable way the trajectory of Ivy Compton-Burnett’s reputation after her death in 1967 parallels that of George Meredith’s in 1909.

Home thoughts from abroad

8 July 2009 12:00 am

Paradise of Exiles, by Katie Campbell

Quite contrary

3 June 2009 12:00 am

Eleven years after Jean Rhys’s death in 1979, Carole Angier published a monumental biography, a model of its kind, with 70 pages of notes and seven of bibliography.

A delicate talent

15 April 2009 12:00 am

The Other Elizabeth Taylor, by Nicola Beauman

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Opposites attracted

1 April 2009 12:00 am

Before We Met, by Marcelle and Anthony Quinton

Culture-clash on the campus

17 September 2008 12:00 am

Chicago, by Alaa al-Aswani

More nattering please

10 September 2008 12:00 am

The Other Garden and Collected Stories, by Francis Wyndham

A Soho stalwart

16 July 2008 12:00 am

Like Angus Wilson, Julian Maclaren-Ross immediately grabbed the attention of Forties reviewers and readers with a series of short stories…

Tangerine dreams

25 June 2008 12:00 am

Francis King reviews Tessa Codrington's new book

Deep, dark truths revealed

24 May 2007 9:49 am

A few nights ago I was at a dinner party at which all those present knew each other far better…

Thriving in adversity

8 March 2007 8:28 am

This book takes up the story, told so memorably in his Clouds of Glory, of Bryan Magee’s early years in…

The subtle art of suggestion

6 December 2006 5:55 pm

Prematurely, John McGahern published his Collected Stories 14 years before his death early this year. To prepare this Selected Stories…

Dirty tricks down Mexico way

11 February 2006 12:00 am

Set in 2020, this has been described as a work of ‘futuristic’ fiction. Most such fiction — Forster’s The Machine…

A brilliant autopsy on a dead regime

14 January 2006 12:00 am

Although writers in languages of lesser currency suffer a cruel disadvantage when striving to establish themselves on the international scene,…

All passion still not spent

26 November 2005 12:00 am

From her earliest years, one attribute dominated Bernice Rubens’s life: passion. It fuelled her impressive books, her personal relationships and…

A stranger to the truth

22 October 2005 12:00 am

Anthony Burgess was someone whose accomplishment as a fibber far surpassed even that of such formidable rivals as Laurens van…

Mombasa and Zanzibar

14 May 2005 12:00 am

The bitterness of the immigrant experience, the tumultuous coming of independence to a former British colony, forbidden love and miscegenation…