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Kingsley William Amis

Sir Kingsley William Amis (1922-1995) was a renowned English novelist, poet, and literary critic, best known for his witty and satirical works that explored the social and cultural dynamics of post-war Britain. Born on April 16, 1922, in Clapham, South London, Amis displayed literary prowess from an early age and went on to become a prominent figure in the world of literature.

Amis attended the City of London School and later studied English at St. John's College, Oxford, where he developed a keen interest in writing. His studies were interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the Royal Corps of Signals. After the war, he returned to Oxford and completed his degree. He later became a tenant at Plas Gwynant, Gwynedd, Wales.

In 1954, Amis gained widespread recognition with the publication of his debut novel, "Lucky Jim." The novel, a humorous and satirical take on academic life, became an instant success, winning the prestigious Somerset Maugham Award. This early success set the stage for Amis's prolific literary career.

Over the years, Amis continued to produce a diverse body of work, including novels, poetry, and essays. Some of his notable novels include "That Uncertain Feeling" (1955), "I Like It Here" (1958), and "Take a Girl Like You" (1960). His exploration of contemporary society, relationships, and the human condition set him apart as a keen observer of the changing cultural landscape.

Amis's literary achievements were not limited to novels. He also made significant contributions as a poet, with collections like "A Frame of Mind" (1953) and "A Look Round the Estate" (1967). His poetry, often characterized by its wit and clarity, showcased his versatility as a writer.

Apart from his creative endeavors, Amis was an influential literary critic, contributing essays and reviews to various publications. His critical work displayed a deep understanding of literature and a sharp analytical mind.

In 1990, Amis was knighted for his services to literature, a testament to his enduring impact on the literary world. He continued to write and publish until his death on October 22, 1995, in London.


  1. Amis, Kingsley. "Lucky Jim." Penguin Books, 1954.
  2. Amis, Kingsley. "That Uncertain Feeling." Penguin Books, 1955.
  3. Amis, Kingsley. "I Like It Here." Penguin Books, 1958.
  4. Amis, Kingsley. "Take a Girl Like You." Jonathan Cape, 1960.
  5. Amis, Kingsley. "A Frame of Mind." Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1953.
  6. Amis, Kingsley. "A Look Round the Estate." Jonathan Cape, 1967.
  7. Lodge, David. "Kingsley Amis: A Biography." Hutchinson, 1995.

National Portrait Gallery, Search the Collections, 'Sir Kingsley William Amis (1922-1995), Novelist' < > [accessed 5 December 2008]

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