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David Lodge

David Lodge, CBE


  • Commonwealth Writers' Prize (2009, 1996).
  • Chevalier de L'Ordre des Artes et des Lettres.
  • Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Eurasia Region. Best Book, Therapy.
  • Writers' Guild Award: Best Adapted Screenplay, Martin Chuzzlewit.
  • Silver Nymph, International Television Festival, Monte Carlo: Nice Work, screenplay.
  • Sunday Express Book of the Year: Nice Work.
  • Royal Television Society Award: Best Drama Serial: Nice Work.
  • Booker Prize for Fiction, shortlist: Nice Work.
  • Booker Prize for Fiction, shortlist: Small World.
  • Whitbread Book of the Year: How Far Can You Go.
  • Yorkshire Post Book Award, Finest Fiction: Changing Places.
  • Hawthornden Prize: Changing Places.

Professor David Lodge was born in South London in 1935 to a Roman Catholic family and experienced the trauma of wartime and the austerity that followed. In 1959 he married Mary Frances Jacob. The couple have three children. He is a graduate and Honorary Fellow of The University College of London.

David Lodge is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Birmingham where he taught from 1960 to 1987 when he retired to concentrate on his writing. Birmingham remains his home.

He was Harkness Fellow in the United States of America, Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley and Henfield Creative Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia. His time in academia gave him a rich source of inspiration for his satirical novels of university life; the Campus trilogy. The first was Changing Places (1975), followed by Small World (1984) and Nice Work (1988).

His novels seem to be back-dropped by the stages in his life, not biographically but given compelling authenticity by his familiarity with the scene. His first novel (1960), The Picturegoers is about a Catholic family growing up in South London. Ginger, You're Barmy (1962) drew on his experience of national service. Deaf Sentence (2008) is a funny and moving story written when Professor Lodge was experiencing increasing deafness as is his main character.

I think that 'funny' and 'moving' seem to be his trademark style, softening stories of hardship and heartbreak with humour.

He is a successful playwright and screenwriter. Small World was adapted as a television serial, as was Nice Work. He wrote and presented Big Words-Small Worlds in 1987 and a film about the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, broadcast by BBC in 1993. I was fascinated to learn that, as I am in discussion with a friend about undertaking part of the pilgrimage having found references to it in the South of France this year. We need the film!

His first stage play, The Writing Game (1990) was produced in Birmingham and Massachusetts and Home Truths (1998) in Birmingham.

David Lodge is a master of the biographical novel as demonstrated by his book on Henry James, Author, Author (2011) and A Man of Parts (2012) that tells us the complex story of H.G. Wells. I have always admired the man and his huge capacity to imagine what man is capable of. David Lodge has meticulously researched so that I can now set H.G. in his own time and place. I was not aware that he had forecast a sort of World Wide Web! I find he knew nearly every well-known writer and statesman of his time. The mapping of his complex sexual liaisons was helped by H.G. writing his own 'Postscript' to his autobiography published after his death as Wells in Love.

David Lodge is also the author of numerous works on Literary Criticism and Literary Theory.

I have only highlighted part of David Lodge's many achievements but hope I have given NAWG members who have not met him before an interest in his work. He finds time to write to us and to contribute to our competition awards. We send him a copy of the anthology each year.

It is a privilege to have him as a Patron.

— Anne Steward, 26th April 2016.

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Posted by: Kevin Machin Date: April 26, 2016 6:27 pm
Categories: People Tags: patrons
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