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Kingsley Amis

Sir Kingsley Amis (April 22, 1922 - October 22, 1995), was an English novelist, poet, critic, and teacher. Author of twenty novels, three collections of poetry, a number of short stories, and ten books of social or literary criticism.

Born in London. He was educated at the City of London School and St. John's College, Oxford. After service in the army with the Royal Corps of Signals he completed his university studies in 1947 and then worked as a lecturer in English at the University of Swansea (1948-61) and in Cambridge (1961-63).

Amis achieved popular success with his first novel Lucky Jim, which is often considered the exemplary novel of the Fifties. The novel won the Somerset Maugham award for fiction and Amis was placed in a group of young writers labeled Angry Young Men. Lucky Jim is considered a seminal work, the first to feature an ordinary person as anti-hero.

Amis had long been interested in science fiction. His book New Maps of Hell (1960?) was his interpretation of the better aspects of science fiction. He was very enthusiastic about the dystopian works of Frederick Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, and in New Maps, he coined the term "comic inferno" for a type of humorous dystopia, particlarly common in the works of Robert Sheckley. With the Sovietologist Robert Conquest he produced a series of science fiction anthologies Spectrum I-IV, which drew heavily on Astounding Science Fiction from the 1950s for its sources. In his own writings in the science fiction/fantasy genre, he wrote two novels, The Alteration, an alternate history novel set in a 20th century Britain where the Reformation never happened, and a supernatural/horror novel, The Green Man, later adapted as a television production by the BBC

He was married twice, first in 1948 to Hilary. In 1965, he married novelist Elizabeth Howard; they divorced in 1983. He had three children: two sons, including Martin Amis, and a daughter. He was knighted in 1990.

Partial bibliography

1947 Amis's first collection of poems, Bright November
1953 A Frame of Mind
1954 Poems: Fantasy Portraits.
1954 Amis also published his first novel, Lucky Jim
1956 A Case of Samples: Poems 1946-1956.
1960 Hemingway in Space (short story), Punch Dec 1960
1968, after Ian Fleming's death in 1964, under the pseudonym Robert Markham, he wrote Colonel Sun, a novel about James Bond.
1986 he won a Booker Prize for The Old Devils.
1994 The semi-autobiographical You Can't Do Both was published.