William Boyd biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by William Boyd.

Author Biography  |  Interview  |  Books by this Author  |  Readalikes

William Boyd
Eamonn McCabe

William Boyd

William Boyd Biography

Born in Accra, Ghana, in 1952, William Boyd grew up there and in Nigeria. He attended the universities of Nice and Glasgow as well as Jesus College, Oxford, studying French, English and Philosophy. He was also a lecturer in English Literature at St. Hilda's College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and has been presented with honorary Doctorates in Literature from four other institutions.

William Boyd is the author of eleven novels, including A Good Man in Africa, winner of the Whitbread Literary Award and the Somerset Maugham Award; An Ice Cream War, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Booker prize; Any Human Heart, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet; and Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year, the Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year and a Richard & Judy selection. His most recent novel is Waiting For Sunrise which published in February 2011.

He is married and divides his time between London and South West France.

From the author's website

Link to William's website

This biography was last updated on 01/09/2014.

A note about the biographies
We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate. However, with over 2500 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date, inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, please send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Interview

Q: Any Human Heart, your last novel Nat Tate, and your novel The New Confessions are all fake biographies (or in one case an autobiography). Why are you drawn to the concept of chronicling a single person's entire life?
A:
One of the best definitions of the novel is D.H. Laurence's. He described the novel as "The bright book of life"—and I suppose that the human condition—the investigation of human nature—is the novel's primary subject. The novel does our lives, our being-humanness, better and more richly than any other art form available. So to track an entire life with all its ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies seems to me an obvious and satisfying thing to do.

Q: In Any Human Heart we follow the life of writer-adventurer Logan Mountstuart via entries in his personal journal. Why did you decide to use this format for the novel?
A:
Having tried the other formats available to any writer to tell the story of a life, I realized that the literary form that most fits the way we actually live is the journal. Other forms—autobiography, biography, and memoir—are all much shaped and therefore fundamentally artificial. The journal is written day by day without benefit of hindsight...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by William Boyd at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

Any Human Heart
Any Human Heart

by William Boyd

A moving, ambitious and richly conceived novel that summons up the heroics and follies of twentieth-century life.
Read More

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for William Boyd but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • John Banville

    John Banville

    John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He was educated at a Christian Brother's school and St Peter's College in Wexford.  After leaving college he worked for Aer Lingus (Irish airline) in ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Any Human Heart

    Try:
    The Sea
    by John Banville

  • Saul Bellow

    Saul Bellow

    Saul Bellow was born in Lachine, Quebec on June 10, 1915, and was raised in Chicago. He attended the University of Chicago, received his Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in 1937, with honors in sociology and ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Any Human Heart

    Try:
    Ravelstein
    by Saul Bellow

We recommend 7 similar authors

View all 7 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Take This Man
    Take This Man
    by Brando Skyhorse
    "A chorus of six men calling me Son might sound ludicrous to you, but to me it's the sound of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.