William Boyd Biography

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William Boyd

William Boyd

WILLIAM BOYD has received world-wide acclaim for his novels. They are: A Good Man in Africa (1981, winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize) An Ice Cream War (1982, shortlisted for the 1982 Booker Prize and winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Stars and Bars (1984), The New Confessions (1987), Brazzaville Beach (1990, winner of the McVitie Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize) The Blue Afternoon (1993, winner of the 1993 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction, 1995), Armadillo (1998) and Any Human Heart (2002, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet). His novels and stories have been published around the world and have been translated into over thirty languages.  He is also the author of a collection of screenplays and a memoir of his schooldays, School Ties (1985); and three collections of short stories: On the Yankee Station (1981), The Destiny of Nathalie 'X' (1995) and Fascination (2004). He also wrote the speculative memoir of his

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schooldays, School Ties (1985); three collections of short stories: On the Yankee Station (1981), The Destiny of Nathalie 'X' (1995) and Fascination (2004). He also wrote the speculative memoir Nat Tate: an American Artist -- the publication of which, in the spring of 1998, caused something of a stir on both sides of the Atlantic. A collection of his non-fiction writings, 1978-2004, entitled Bamboo, was published in October 2005. His ninth novel, Restless, was published in September 2006 (Costa Book Award, Novel of the Year 2006) and his tenth novel, Ordinary Thunderstorms, published September 2009. His most recent novel is Waiting For Sunrise which published in February 2011.

Born in Accra, Ghana, in 1952, Boyd grew up there and in Nigeria.  He was educated at Gordonstoun School and attended the universities of Nice (Diploma of French Studies) and Glasgow (M.A.Hons in English and Philosophy) and Jesus College, Oxford, where he studied for a D.Phil in English Literature. He was also a lecturer in English Literature at St. Hilda's College, Oxford, from 1980-83. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He has been presented with honorary Doctorates in Literature from the universities of St. Andrews, Stirling, Glasgow and Dundee. In 2005 he was awarded the CBE.

His screenwriting credits include Stars and Bars (1987, dir. Pat O'Connor), Mr Johnson (1990, dir. Bruce Beresford), Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (1990, dir. Jon Amiel), Chaplin (1992, dir. Richard Attenborough) A Good Man in Africa (1993, dir. Bruce Beresford), The Trench (1999, which Boyd also directed) and Man to Man (2005, dir. Régis Wargnier).  He adapted Evelyn Waugh's Scoop for television (1988) and also Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy (2001). His own three-part adaptation of his novel Armadillo was screened on BBC 1 in 2001 and on A&E in the US in 2002. His film about Shakespeare and his sonnets — A Waste of Shame -- was made in 2005 for BBC 4. He has written two original TV films about boarding-school life in England -- Good and Bad at Games (1983) and Dutch Girls (1985). He adapted his own novel Any Human Heart into a four-part drama for Channel 4 in 2010, which garnered much critical acclaim.

He is married and divides his time between London and South West France.

Author photograph © Eamonn McCabe

© Eamonn McCabe

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