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
This biography was last updated on 01/09/2014.
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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 conditionthe investigation of human natureis 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 formsautobiography, biography, and memoirare all much shaped and therefore fundamentally artificial. The journal is written day by day without benefit of hindsight...
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