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Publishers WeeklyIn this trenchant portrait, British critic Carey weaves masterful readings of Golding's work with intimate details about his life. Drawing on newly available materials-including Golding's never-before seen journal-Carey chronicles Golding's life from his relatively isolated and unhappy childhood, and his struggles as a young writer trapped in a schoolteacher position, to his winning of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. Such early praise elevated Golding's first novel to heights that made the novel became better known than the novelist. Despite praise, Lord of the Flies was not an immediate bestseller. Golding's subsequent novels (among them The Inheritors and Pincher Martin) fared little better with critics and booksellers-until 1958, when literary critic Frank Kermode praised Pincher Martin as the work of a philosophical novelist whose great theme was the Fall of Man. As a writer-in-residence at Hollins College in America, Golding had finally earned enough success to be published in paperback. In spite of his glory, Golding remained sensitive throughout his life, battling fears of being alone in the dark, the supernatural, insects, and writing (as Carey elegantly enunciates, Golding's greatest fear was of not writing; he continued writing to postpone the terror of having nothing more to write).
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