Anthony Burgess as Literary Biographer


  • Andrew Biswell Manchester Metropolitan University



This chapter addresses some questions of literary form and biographical method arising from Anthony Burgess’s biographies of Ernest Hemingway and D. H. Lawrence. A new connection is established between Burgess’s unsuccessful first attempt to write an autobiography in 1977 and his growing interest in the potential forms of biography, which he explored in novels and non-fiction books in the 1970s and 1980s. A close examination of two specific works, Ernest Hemingway and His World (1978) and Flame Into Being (1985), allows us to chart the evolution of Burgess’s biographical method, which he went on to redeploy in his two volumes of formal autobiography, Little Wilson and Big God (1987) and You’ve Had Your Time (1990).