Born and educated in Manchester, Burgess served in the British army during World War II. He then spent a period as a teacher before becoming an education officer in Malaya and Borneo. This became the setting for his first novels, The Malayan Trilogy (1956–59). From 1959 he worked freelance as a writer, becoming an influential reviewer and publishing a succession of novels, notable among which was A Clockwork Orange (1962; filmed by Stanley Kubrick in 1971), a zestful depiction of a London of the future riddled with violence and juvenile delinquency. Novels of the 1960s included Nothing Like the Sun (1964), a colourful account of Shakespeare's life, which annoyed sober scholars almost as much as Burgess's subsequent biography of Shakespeare (1971). He also wrote an introduction to James Joyce and published an abridgment of Joyce's Finnegans Wake (1966). In the 1970s Burgess accepted a series of university appointments in the USA, while continuing to publish criticism and novels that were a challenging and often comic exploration of late twentieth-century dilemmas. His later fiction includes the best-selling Earthly Powers (1980), the series dealing with the character Enderby, running from Inside Mr. Enderby (1963) to Enderby's Dark Lady (1984), The Kingdom of the Wicked, (1985) an epic of the Christian struggle against Imperial Rome, Any Old Iron (1989), about the rediscovery of Excalibur, and The Devil's Mode (1989), a collection of short stories. Little Wilson and Big God (1988) and You've Had Your Time (1990) are autobiographical. He also wrote several works in the field of linguistics and composed music.