Francis King

Morality tales

18 June 2011 12:00 am

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

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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

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…