How to Live to Be 22

Overview


Keith Waterhouse is remembered today for his newspaper columns, his play Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell, and his novel Billy Liar, published in 1959 when the author was thirty. But discovered in his archives when the British Library acquired them in 2012, was a full-length manuscript that had never been published, a humorous autobiography entitled How to Live to Be 22.
           
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Overview


Keith Waterhouse is remembered today for his newspaper columns, his play Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell, and his novel Billy Liar, published in 1959 when the author was thirty. But discovered in his archives when the British Library acquired them in 2012, was a full-length manuscript that had never been published, a humorous autobiography entitled How to Live to Be 22.
           
Written during the early years of his career, as a reporter for the Yorkshire Evening Post, the book contains the dreams, doubts, desires, and ambitions of a young man in postwar Leeds trying to make a career of writing. A torrent of ideas, sometimes bordering on a rant but always humorous and self-deprecating, How to Live to Be 22 contains many of the themes that Waterhouse would later develop in Billy Liar: fantasies of being the leader of imaginary worlds, and even Prime Minister; early experiences with women; and an obsession with grammar. With great confidence and prescience Waterhouse declares in the work that he will have “always one book or play on the glow like people who always have the kettle on the gas,” and that the neon lights that lit his name up in the clouds will be “bigger and brighter than before.”
           
How to Live to Be 22 provides fascinating insights into Waterhouse’s creative process and will be a must-read for the gifted writer’s legion of fans.
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Editorial Reviews

Daily Mail

“A charming, newly discovered memoir [from] . . . a giant of modern literature.”
Times Literary Supplement

“[T]ry How To Live To Be 22 for the original reality of Billy’s unreality.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780712309691
  • Publisher: British Library, The
  • Publication date: 9/15/2013
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Keith Waterhouse (1929–2009) was a British novelist, newspaper columnist, playwright, and screen writer. He wrote thirteen novels, seven works of nonfiction, and seven collections of journalism. He wrote a column for the Daily Mirror for twenty-six years and one for the Daily Mail for twenty-three years.
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Table of Contents

Preface, by Michael Parkinson

Introduction, by Robert Waterhouse

How to Live to Be 22

Introduction

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

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