William Boyd's BOOK CLUB

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Introducing Book Club, our new video series inviting writers, artists and performers to share the books which matter to them. First to take us on a tour of his extensive book shelves is the novelist and screenwriter William Boyd.


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Born in Accra, Ghana to Scottish parents, Boyd was working as a lecturer in English at Oxford’s St Hilda’s College, and TV critic for The New Statesman when his debut novel A Good Man in Africa was published in 1981. The work won both the Whitbread Book Award and the Somerset Maughan Award.

Boyd has gone on to write 13 further novels, including the Booker Prize shortlisted An Ice-Cream War (1982), the Booker Prize longlisted Any Human Heart (2002) and the Costa Book Awards Novel of the Year, Restless (20006). Boyd has also penned multiple screenplays, theatre pieces and non-fiction works.

In William Boyd’s Book Club the author talks us through some of the ‘10,000’ books that occupy his shelves, from the tiny Victorian Thumb Dictionary, to the contemporary novels of David Szalay and Evie Wyld.

Bibliography (in order of appearance)

Larkin, Philip (1951) XX Poems
Hefford Cocking, Frances M. (ed.) (1900) The Composer's Vade-Mecum: English-Italian Dictionary of Terms
Bryce, David (ed.) (1893) The Thumb Dictionary
Wilson, Edmund (1975) The Twenties: from notebooks and diaries of the period
Waugh, Evelyn (1945) Brideshead Revisited
Wyld, Evie (2013) All The Birds Singing
Szalay, David (2016) All That Man Is

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