Biswell, Andrew 1970-
Biswell, Andrew 1970-
Born November 30, 1970. Education: University of Leicester, B.A., M.A., P.G.C.E.; University of Warwick, Ph.D.
Office—Department of English, Manchester Metropolitan University, Geoffrey Manton Bldg., Rosamond St. W., Manchester M15 6LL, England. E-mail—[email protected]
Trondheim University, Trondheim, Norway, visiting lecturer, 2002; University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, honorary lecturer in English at King's College, 2002-03; Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, England, academic director of the Writing School and instructor in English, 2003—.
(Contributor) Il Mondo Distopico di Anthony Burgess, edited by Flavio Gregori, Lindau (Turin, Italy), 2004.
(Contributor) Portraits of the Artist in "A Clockwork Orange," edited by Emmanuel Vernadakis and Graham Woodroffe, University of Angers Press (Angers, France), 2004.
The Real Life of Anthony Burgess (biography), Picador (London, England), 2005.
Contributor to Dictionary of Literary Biography; contributor of book reviews to newspapers, including the Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, and Boston Globe.
Andrew Biswell is an expert on Anthony Burgess, the author of the classic dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange. Biswell's first book, The Real Life of Anthony Burgess, is a biography of this colorful character. The biography was challenging to write, because, as Biswell delicately put it, Burgess had a "reluctance to tell a story the same way twice." This charitable attitude towards Burgess's flaws— which, reviewers noted, was not shared by all of Burgess's biographers—is evident throughout Biswell's biography. Biswell covers the sordid sides of Burgess's life, including his heavy drinking, his troubled marriage to another alcoholic, and his constant mixing of truth and fiction, but he does so in a "sober and scrupulous" manner, explained Spectator reviewer Francis Henry King. New Statesman contributor George Walden also praised Biswell's handling of this subject matter, commenting that Burgess's "life became a chaotic docudrama to which the judicious Biswell brings order of a sort—though, our biographer being a wise and discerning fellow, not too much." The result is a "truly excellent biography," Walden concluded. Globe and Mail reviewer Tim Conley also praised The Real Life of Anthony Burgess, noting that Biswell "keeps his narrative straight and his prose clean" and that, even while he must debunk some of the more colorful stories that Burgess told about himself, "he is, admirably, never heavy-handed or dull in doing so."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Biswell, Andrew, The Real Life of Anthony Burgess, Picador (London, England), 2005.
Financial Times, October 29, 2005, review of The Real Life of Anthony Burgess, p. 33.
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), January 7, 2006, Tim Conley, "Nothing Clockwork about His Life," p. D4.
New Statesman, November 14, 2005, George Walden, "Out of Gear: George Walden on a Writer Whose Sympathies Were Too Broad to Be Constrained by the Cliquishness of English Life," p. 50.
Spectator, October 22, 2005, Francis Henry King, "A Stranger to the Truth," p. 60.
Manchester Metropolitan University Web site,http://www.hlss.mmu.ac.uk/ (June 30, 2006), "Andrew Biswell."