Amis, Sir Kingsley

▪ British author
born April 16, 1922, London, England
died October 22, 1995, London

      novelist, poet, critic, and teacher who created in his first novel, Lucky Jim, a comic figure that became a household word in Great Britain in the 1950s.

      Amis was educated at the City of London School and at St. John's College, Oxford (B.A., 1949). His education was interrupted during World War II by his service as a lieutenant in the Royal Corps of Signals. From 1949 to 1961 he taught at universities in Wales, England, and the United States.

      Amis's first novel, Lucky Jim (1954, filmed 1957), was an immediate success and remains his most popular work. Its disgruntled antihero, a young university instructor named Jim Dixon, epitomized a newly important social group that had risen by dint of scholarships from lower-middle-class and working-class backgrounds only to find the more comfortable perches still occupied by the well-born. Lucky Jim prompted critics to group Amis with the Angry Young Men, who expressed similar social discontent. Amis's next novel, That Uncertain Feeling (1955), had a similar antihero. A visit to Portugal resulted in the novel I Like It Here (1958), while observations garnered from a teaching stint in the United States were expressed in the novel One Fat Englishman (1963).

      Amis went on to write more than 40 books, including some 20 novels, many volumes of poetry, and several collections of essays. His apparent lack of sympathy with his characters and his sharply satirical rendering of well-turned dialogue were complemented by his own curmudgeonly public persona. Notable among his later novels were The Green Man (1969), Jake's Thing (1978), and The Old Devils (1986). As a poet, Amis was a representative member of a group sometimes called “The Movement,” whose poems began appearing in 1956 in the anthology New Lines. Poets belonging to this school wrote understated and disciplined verse that avoided experimentation and grandiose themes. In 1990 Amis was knighted, and his Memoirs were published in 1991. His son Martin Amis also became a well-known novelist.

Additional Reading
Eric Jacobs, Kingsley Amis (1995); Richard Bradford, Lucky Him: The Biography of Kingsley Amis (2001); Zachary Leader, The Life of Kingsley Amis (2006); Neil Powell, Amis & Son: Two Literary Generations (2008).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Amis, Sir Kingsley — (1922 1995)    London born, he was educated at the City of London School and St. John s College, Oxford. Although probably best known for his novels his first novel, Lucky Jim, was made into a film in 1957 he published six volumes of poetry.… …   British and Irish poets

  • Amis, Sir Kingsley William — ▪ 1996       British novelist and poet (b. April 16, 1922, London, England d. Oct. 22, 1995, London), created about 40 books over 20 novels as well as several volumes of poetry, short stories, and miscellaneous other works but remained best known …   Universalium

  • Amis, Sir Kingsley (William) — born April 16, 1922, London, Eng. died Oct. 22, 1995, London British novelist, poet, critic, and teacher. His first novel, Lucky Jim (1954; film, 1957), was a hugely successful comic masterpiece. He was often characterized as an Angry Young Man,… …   Universalium

  • Amis, Sir Kingsley (William) — (16 abr. 1922, Londres, Inglaterra–22 oct. 1995, Londres). Novelista, poeta, crítico y académico británico. Su primera novela, Jim el afortunado (1954; película, 1957), resultó ser una obra maestra cómica y tuvo un éxito resonante. A menudo se le …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Kingsley Amis — Nacimiento 16 de abril de 1922 Clapham, Londres,  Reino Unido Defunción …   Wikipedia Español

  • Kingsley — Kingsley, Charles * * * (as used in expressions) Amis, Sir Kingsley (William) Kingsley, Charles John Kingsley Orton …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Kingsley Amis — Infobox Writer name = Sir Kingsley Amis birthname = Kingsley William Amis birthdate = birth date|1922|4|16 birthplace = Clapham, South London, England deathdate = death date and age|1995|10|22|1922|4|16 deathplace = London, England occupation =… …   Wikipedia

  • Amis, Martin — born Aug. 25, 1949, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Eng. British writer and critic. The son of writer Kingsley Amis, he graduated from Oxford University in 1971. He worked for the Times Literary Supplement and the New Statesman before becoming a full time… …   Universalium

  • sir — /serr/, n. 1. a respectful or formal term of address used to a man: No, sir. 2. (cap.) the distinctive title of a knight or baronet: Sir Walter Scott. 3. (cap.) a title of respect for some notable personage of ancient times: Sir Pandarus of Troy …   Universalium

  • sir — (Voz inglesa.) ► sustantivo masculino Tratamiento honorífico empleado por los británicos. * * * sir (ingl.; pronunc. [ser]) m. *Tratamiento de respeto usado en Inglaterra delante de un nombre de hombre o para dirigirse a la persona de que se… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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