William Boyd

(b. 1952)

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(1952– ),

novelist, born in Accra, Ghana, and educated at the universities of Nice and Glasgow and at Jesus College, Oxford. He was a lecturer in English at St Hilda's College, Oxford (1980–83). A Good Man in Africa (1981) is a comic tale of diplomatic life in a minor West African posting somewhat in the manner of K. Amis. An Ice‐Cream War (1982), a serio‐comic tale set in East Africa during the First World War, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize. Stars and Bars (1984) and The New Confessions (1987), the sadly comic autobiography of a self‐styled genius, consolidated Boyd's reputation as an accomplished storyteller with an instinct for inventive comedy. Brazzaville Beach (1990), again set in Africa, explores the theme of the origins of human and animal violence. The Blue Afternoon (1993), set in 1936, is the story of a young female architect who meets an enigmatic stranger claiming to be her father. Armadillo (1998) recounts the amorous and financial adventures in late 20th‐cent. London of a Romany‐born loss adjuster. Any Human Heart (2002) takes the form of journals written by a fictitious 20th‐cent. novelist. Restless (2006) is a spy novel set during the Second World War. Boyd has written television screenplays, and collections of short stories, including On the Yankee Station (1981), The Destiny of Nathalie ‘X’ (1995), and Fascination (2004).

Subjects: Literature.

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