Saturday, 9 January 2016

Recommended Books by Professor David Lodge and his erstwhile student Ian McEwan

The Practice of Writing ' is a collection of prose pieces about literary fiction, drama and television adaptation' by Professor David Lodge  They were mostly written after he gave up his academic career to become a full-time writer. In his younger days Professor Lodge was known for his 'campus' novels and was famously instrumental in setting up the first M.A. in Creative Writing programme at the University of East Anglia.
Professor Lodge was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded a CBE for his services to literature He writes in his Preface to The Practice of Writing that the writers who he discusses at greatest length in this book all had an influence on this own writing. There are insightful pieces about, amongst others, D.H. Lawrence and Graham Greene, the latter of whom he met on several occasions. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the process of writing.
David Lodge

I am concurrently reading Professor Lodge's memoir - David Lodge Quite a Good Time to be Born A Memoir 1935-1975.

The first student to graduate from the M.A. course in creative writing established by David Lodge was Ian McEwan, the highly  acclaimed prize-winning author, whose oeuvre includes the Booker Prize-winning novel Amsterdam. I have just read McEwan's latest offering of fiction The Children's Act, which I highly recommend. It is the story of a High Court Judge, Fiona Maye, who must make a decision about a seventeen-year-old boy who is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life - a decision complicated by her developing emotional involvement with the boy. Michael Frayn has described it as 'One of the best and most perfect novels that I've ever read'.