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David Storey

(b. 1933)


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(1933– ),

novelist and playwright, the son of a Yorkshire miner; he was educated at the Slade School of Fine Art. He worked as professional footballer, teacher, farm worker, and erector of show tents, acquiring a variety of experience which is evident in his works. His first novel, This Sporting Life (1960), describes the ambitions and passions of a young working man, Arthur Machin, a Rugby League player who becomes emotionally involved with his landlady. This was followed by other novels including Flight into Camden (1960), about the unhappy affair of a miner's daughter with a married teacher; Radcliffe (1963), a sombre, violent, Lawrentian novel about class conflict, the Puritan legacy, and destructive homosexual passion; and Saville (1976, Booker Prize), an epic set in a South Yorkshire mining village. Meanwhile Storey had also established himself as a playwright, with such works as In Celebration (1969); The Contractor (1970); Home (1970), set in a mental home; The Changing Room (1971), again using Rugby League as a setting; Life Class (1974), set in an art college; and Mother's Day (1976), a violent black comedy set on a housing estate. Both plays and novels show a preoccupation with social mobility and the mental disturbance it frequently appears to cause, and an interesting and challenging combination of documentary naturalism with a sense of the symbolic and unspoken. Other works include the plays Sisters (1978) and The March on Russia (1989); the novels Present Times (1984) and Thin‐Ice Skater (2004); and Storey's Lives: Poems 1951–1991 (1992).

Subjects: Literature.


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