Boyd, William 1952-
Boyd, William 1952-
BOYD, William 1952-
PERSONAL: Born March 7, 1952, in Accra, Ghana; son of Alexander Murray (a physician) and Evelyn (a teacher; maiden name, Smith) Boyd; married Susan Wilson (a magazine editor), 1975. Education: University
of Nice, diploma (French studies), 1971; University of Glasgow, M.A. (with honors), 1975; postgraduate study at Jesus College, Oxford, 1975-80.
ADDRESSES: Home—London, England. Agent—Lemon, Unna & Durbridge Ltd., 24 Pottery Lane, Holland Park, London W11 4LZ, England.
CAREER: Novelist and screenwriter. St. Hilda's College, Oxford, England, lecturer in English literature, 1980-83; New Statesman, London, England, television critic, 1981-83.
MEMBER: Royal Society of Literature (fellow, 1992).
AWARDS, HONORS: Whitbread Literary Award for best first novel, Booksellers Association of Great Britain and Ireland, 1981, and Somerset Maugham Award, Society of Authors, 1982, both for A Good Man in Africa; John Llewelyn Rhys Memorial Prize and Booker McConnell Prize nomination, National Book League, both 1982, both for An Ice-Cream War; James Tait Black Memorial Book Prize, 1991, for Brazzaville Beach; Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, 1991; Sunday Express Book of the Year Award, 1983; Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction, 1995, for The Blue Afternoon; honorary Litt.D., University of St. Andrews, 1997, University of Stirling, 1997, and University of Glasgow, 2000.
A Good Man in Africa, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1981, Morrow (New York, NY), 1982.
An Ice-Cream War: A Tale of the Empire, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1982, Morrow (New York, NY), 1983.
Stars and Bars, Morrow (New York, NY), 1985, reprinted, Vintage (New York, NY), 2001.
School Ties, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), Morrow (New York, NY), 1985.
The New Confessions, Morrow (New York, NY), 1988.
Brazzaville Beach, Morrow (New York, NY), 1990.
Cork, Ulysses (London, England), 1994.
Transfigured Night, One Horse Press (London, England), 1995.
The Blue Afternoon, Knopf (New York, NY), 1995.
Visions Fugitives, Cuckoo Press for John Sandoe (London, England), 1997.
Armadillo, Knopf (New York, NY), 1998.
Nat Tate: An American Artist, 1928-1960, 21 Publishing (Cambridge, England), 1998.
Protobiography, Bridgewater (London, England), 1998.
Any Human Heart: The Intimate Journals of Logan Mountstuart, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 2002, Knopf (New York, NY), 2003.
On the Yankee Station and Other Stories, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1981, expanded edition published as On the Yankee Station: Stories, Morrow (New York, NY), 1984, reprinted, Vintage (New York, NY), 2001.
The Destiny of Nathalie "X," Sinclair-Stevenson (London, England), 1994, expanded edition published as The Destiny of Nathalie "X" and Other Stories, Knopf (New York, NY), 1997.
Care and Attention of Swimming Pools, and Not Yet Jayette, produced in London, England, 1985.
On the Yankee Station, (adapted for radio from short-story collection), 1985.
School Ties: "Good and Bad at Games" (television play; broadcast by Channel Four Television, 1984), Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1985, Morrow (New York, NY), 1986.
School Ties: "Dutch Girls" (television play; London Weekend Television, 1985), Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1985, Morrow (New York, NY), 1986.
Scoop (television play; adapted from Evelyn Waugh's novel), ITV, 1986.
Stars and Bars (screenplay; adapted from novel), Columbia Pictures, 1988.
Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (screenplay; adapted from the novel by Mario Vargas Llosa), Cinecom, 1990, released as Tune in Tomorrow, Hobo, 1990.
Mister Johnson (screenplay; adapted from the novel by Joyce Cary), Avenue Pictures, 1991.
(With Bryan Forbes and William Goldman) Chaplin, (adapted from My Autobiography by Charles Chaplin), Carolco, 1992.
A Good Man in Africa (adapted from his novel), Gramercy (New Brunswick, NJ), 1994.
Homage to AB: A Masque (adapted for radio from the novel), BBC Radio, (Scotland), 1994, Gramercy (New Brunswick, NJ), 1994.
The Trench (screenplay), Bonaparte Films, 1999.
Armadillo (television play; adapted from his novel), BBC, 2001, A & E, 2002.
(Author of introduction) Joyce Cary, Mister Johnson, Penguin (Harmondsworth, England), 1985.
(Author of introduction) Graham Sutherland, Modern British Masters, Volume 9, Bernard Jacobson Gallery (London, England), 1993.
(Author of introduction) Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, Knopf (New York, NY), 1994.
(Author of introduction) Ken Saro-Wiwa, A Month and a Day: A Detention Diary, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 1995.
(Author of introduction) Frederic Manning, Her Privates We, Serpent's Tail (London, England), 1999.
Television critic for New Statesman, 1981-83; fiction reviewer for London Sunday Times, 1982-83; contributor of stories and reviews to periodicals, including Books and Bookmen, Daily Telegraph, Harper's, London Magazine, London Review of Books, New Republic, New York Times Book Review, Spectator, Times Literary Supplement, and Washington Post.
SIDELIGHTS: British novelist and critic William Boyd has found a wide readership for his darkly humorous fiction on both sides of the Atlantic. Boyd's work addresses subjects from expatriation to modern mathematical theory, reflecting the author's own view that life's events are completely unpredictable and even the most banal folk can be buffeted by fate. Boyd is "an intellectual who wears his learning lightly, when he does not toss it aside completely," remarked Time magazine reviewer Martha Duffy. Writing for the Washington Post Book World, columnist Jonathan Yardley maintained that Boyd "writes more often than not about the conflict of alien cultures, but he invariably does so in ways that are unpredictable and imaginative; he is heir to an established tradition of English comic fiction, yet within it he is clearly his own man; he is a biting satirist and social commentator, yet he regards his characters with an affection that is too rare in such fiction. There's hardly a writer around whose work offers more pleasure and satisfaction."
With the publication of his comic first novel, A Good Man in Africa, Boyd won acclaim as one of England's brightest young literary talents, earning two of Britain's top literary prizes, the Whitbread and Somerset Maugham awards. The novel's protagonist, Morgan Leafy, is a British junior diplomat in a dusty outpost of post-colonial West Africa whose misadventures—stemming from his fondness for alcohol and women and his frustrated career ambitions—are comically exacerbated by his foreign environment. "Leafy wants to improve his life, and his ambitions are endearingly average," wrote Mona Simpson in the New York Times Book Review. "Of course, as a comic hero Leafy gets nothing of the sort."
Many reviewers allowed that, as a rollicking farce, A Good Man in Africa succeeds admirably. "It lack[s] depth, perhaps, but not finesse or wit," Anne Tyler commented in the Detroit News. "Boyd's control of a fairly complicated plot reveals him as a most accomplished farceur," remarked A. N. Wilson in a Spectator critique, "and he puts Morgan through his paces with all the assurance of a circus trainer making a poodle jump through hoops."
For his second award-winning novel, An Ice-Cream War: A Tale of the Empire, Boyd explores the stories of six characters swept up in the conflict of war, including an American expatriate sisal farmer, his German officer neighbor, a young British military officer, and his artistic younger brother. It is through the experiences of the last, Felix Cobb, that Boyd most conspicuously advances his theme that war is "chaotic and absurd. It is the romance of war that Boyd wants to destroy, and the hideous chaos of the war in Africa … is recreated with … a fine balance of satire, black comedy and horror," reported Harriett Gilbert in a New Statesman review.
Commending the novel's historical detail, critics professed even greater praise for the sureness and skill with which Boyd developed his ambitious theme and complex narrative. "Using an almost cinematic technique, Mr. Boyd cuts back and forth between the exploits of different characters, building narrative suspense with brisk assurance." "The scenes and characters shift with admirable dispatch," commented Robert Towers in the New York Review of Books. Michiko Kakutani concluded in the New York Times, "An Ice-Cream War … represents Mr. Boyd's discovery of his own voice—an elastic voice that is capable not only of some very funny satire but also of seriousness and compassion." The single weakness detected by some critics in Boyd's historical drama lies in the realm of character development. Towers noted, "Whatever is ultimately mysterious or unpredictable in the human personality is largely missing—and yet we hardly notice its absence, so effective are the strong, quick outlines he provides." The tales in Boyd's collection of short stories, On the Yankee Station, vary widely in subject matter and narrative technique. Reviewing the collection for the Spectator, Paul Ableman asserted, "Here is a collection of short stories which are, with one exception, formidably accomplished."
Largely traditional narratives, the stories portray innocents and misfits struggling in an indifferent world: a faded child-star-turned-parking-attendant who dreams of meeting a celebrity, a young boy tortured by his mother's adulteries, a bullied soldier obsessed with revenge. Los Angeles Times Book Review critic Malcolm Boyd described On the Yankee Station as a look "at life's underside instead of its smiling face." Kakutani related that "Boyd's people are not an overly introspective lot: Instead of looking into their own souls for answers, they tend to project their needs and frustrations outward to the world at large." Andrew Motion reiterated this assessment when writing for the Times Literary Supplement. "Boyd does not show his characters receiving impressions…. They exist pri marily in terms of narrative event: for all the frequency with which circumstances conspire against them, they seldom form a speculative or philosophical attachment to their worlds. The greatest virtue of this narrative method is a certain kind of readability—Boyd's stories race along, confident and competent. The disadvantage, though, is a degree of sameness."
In Stars and Bars Boyd returned to the comic tradition of the hapless Englishman abroad, introducing Henderson Dores, a timid London art appraiser who takes a new job with a Manhattan auction house, eager to lose his inhibitions and reserve in the bold, impetuous world of America. Frequently daunted by New York City manners and conventions, the Englishman surrenders all comprehension when in the end he finds himself stranded on Park Avenue wearing only a cardboard box. Perceived as a madman by fellow pedestrians, he abdicates his responsible self to an irrational world—and feels sudden kinship. "This 'America' by which he has hoped to be liberated," observed Yardley in a Washington Post Book World critique, "turns out to be a far more complex and difficult place than he bargained for."
Reviewing Stars and Bars for the New York Times Book Review, Caroline Seebohm determined that Boyd's "talent in evoking a place, which worked so well in his earlier two novels, serves him brilliantly here." Yardley concurred, lauding the author's sense of "the American landscape, both physical and psychological" and contending that Boyd "recreates American speech with the aplomb of a born mimic." While Boyd pokes fun at "American food, accents, adolescents, motels with their conventions, hotels with interior forests and lakes," opined Newsweek reviewer Peter S. Prescott, he never loses sight of his "primary target," the transplanted Englishman who cannot assimilate. "Can this British author get all this American arcana right?" the critic pondered. "Alas, he can."
In Boyd's novel The New Confessions, a Scottish expatriate filmmaker named John James Todd looks back over a life than spans much of the twentieth century.
"I wanted this to be like a life," Boyd explained in the Washington Post. "I wanted the graininess, the texture of life, with the blind alleys and circlings that a real life has. I wanted [the character] to seem like a real person. That type of genial egomaniac is his own worst enemy."
In the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Ronald Gottesman observed that in The New Confessions "Boyd has created an important and complex character in a vividly evoked series of settings. He has told a tale that we cannot not believe in (in spite of its many astonishing turns). He has written a subtle and provocative history of our time."
Boyd's next novel, Brazzaville Beach, won the James Tait Black Memorial Book Prize. The story follows a scientist named Hope Clearwater as she observes chimpanzee behavior in Africa and ruminates on her unsuccessful marriage to a troubled mathematician. Hope's discovery that groups of chimpanzees in the game reserve are actually waging war upon each other threatens to refute the many popular publications of the reserve's leading scientist. "Strong or interesting characters give Brazzaville Beach its color, impetus, and bite, but Hope is its dynamo," wrote Michael Bishop in the Washington Post Book World. "She sets things going—from her courtship of John Clearwater, who attracts her because he has a cast of mind beyond her own understanding, to the necessary dismantling of a great primatologist's self-deluding theories about the chimpanzees." The critic concluded that Brazzaville Beach's "people convince, its contrapuntal story unfolds with a complex inevitability that does not preclude surprises, and its intellectual music, honestly grounded in the workaday lives of its characters, resonates from the earth up rather than from the sky down."
Critics once again applauded Boyd for The Destiny of Nathalie "X" and Other Stories. The collection showcases what New York Times Book Review contributor Michael Upchurch called Boyd's "pleasing variousness as a writer." Containing eleven stories that span geography and era, the book taps its author's comic sensibilities while also reflecting a broad knowledge and an intricate way with a storyline. In the title story, the protagonist, a West African film director, visits Hollywood and remains implacable amid the hype, stress, and superficiality of the Hollywood culture. "Cork" finds a young widow inheriting a cork-processing plant after her husband's untimely death; a subsequent affair with the plant manager proves ultimately unsatisfying, due to his request that they only meet once a year. And in "Loose Continuity," Boyd juxtaposes his protagonist's war-torn romance in World War II Germany with her success as a designer in the United States less than a decade later, when reflections on her former life in Germany become almost unfathomable. Chicago's Tribune Books reviewer Sandra Scofield positively described the volume as "a collection of marvelously realized characters, deftly sketched in full, compressed, intelligent, eminently readable tales."
In the novel The Blue Afternoon Boyd weaves a story through the interaction of a confident and successful thirty-something woman named Kay Fischer and the stranger who enters her life and claims to be her natural father. The heart of the novel offers the flashback memories of the father, Salvador Carriscant, narrated by Kay who tells her father's story shortly after meeting him in 1936. "Several years ago a critic wrote that 'no book by Boyd is ever a failure,' and this is true," recognized Donna Rifkind in Washington Post Book World, "but neither can [The Blue Afternoon] … be called an unequivocal triumph." Calling The Blue Afternoon both "clever" and "exasperating," Los Angeles Times Book Review contributor Richard Eder also withheld enthusiastic praise from the work, which he contended has "loose ends." Boyd "has set out to write a book about life, death and narrative itself," Eder continued: "His trouble is that he has written too well. He has constructed too beautifully to be able effectively to de-construct. He has not blown up his story, he has pitted it and scratched it."
In a return to the absurd that is his trademark, Boyd's Armadillo is a satire about chance and life. The protagonist is Lorimer Black, an insurance adjuster with a dark secret that begins to spiral out of control along with his career and life. Jason Cowley in a New Statesman critique considered Armadillo to be "a genuine puzzle and an enigma. Is it serious satire about fragmented identity or an exercise in burlesque? A literary novel or a simple, undemanding genre piece?" According to Publishers Weekly, "Boyd's comic writing is zesty and brilliantly on-target … Lorimer's adventures have enough of an alarming edge to keep a reader constantly, and delightedly, off balance." Yet some of the same critics found the novel flawed. "With each new book," Cowley opined, Boyd "seems to take fewer and fewer risks … apparently uninterested in writing against his own successful formula, in extending the limits of his craft."
It is possible, even probable, that history will witness Boyd's most remembered work as an elaborate April Fools' joke. In 1998 Nat Tate: An American Artist, 1928-1960 was published, complete with credible period photographs and paintings. According to contributor Andrew Biswell of the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Nat Tate "achieved the rare distinction of being written about on the news pages rather than the review sections of newspapers." The character Nat Tate was revealed to be a figment of Boyd's imagination by David Lister in the Independent of London. Lister claimed that "some of the biggest names in the art world have been the victims of a literary hoax." Boyd's explanation of the joke demonstrated his intention that the book be quickly revealed as a hoax, "The book was … studded with covert and cryptic clues and hints as to its real, fictive status." Newsweek described the book that caused the furor as a satirical charmer in which "Boyd is spot-on with details [while] other features … are slightly—and deliciously—wrong." According to Biswell, "It is a joyously disrespectful performance that stands up to repeated close readings, and it promises to become a key reference point in the recent history of fakes and faking."
Any Human Heart: The Intimate Journals of Logan Mountstuart was pronounced by a Publishers Weekly critic as "one of the most beguiling books of this season … rich sophisticated, often hilarious and disarming." This book chronicles the life of Logan Clinton, a globetrotting author and adventurer whose fictional life spans most of the twentieth century. The "tale is lively and likable, if awfully anecdotal," said a Kirkus Reviews contributor, "and perversely given to serial name-dropping. A rich, unruly work, intermittently skimpy and chaotic…. And, in its best pages … a nearly irresistible entertainment." Written as a journal complete with footnotes and an index, Any Human Heart "is shot through with Boyd's customary black humor," explained Toby Clements in the London Daily Telegraph, "combining a dry and sophisticated wit with a love for the embarrassing and the absurd."
Regardless of what fictional avenues he traverses, Boyd has established himself as a renowned writer of farce and a practical joker of international caliber. According to Cowley, "he is the supreme chronicler of contemporary contingency, of randomness and uncertainty." Boyd would doubtless agree, because for him, "Writing fiction is absolute freedom. As an art form it is so boundlessly generous. Novels literally have no boundaries. You can write a two-thousand-page novel covering billions of years, if that's what you decide to do. Anything is possible."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 28, 1984, Volume 53, 1989, Volume 70, 1992.
Dunn, Douglas, "Divergent Scottishness: William Boyd, Alan Massie, Ronald Frame," in The Scottish Novel since the Seventies: New Visions, Old Dreams, edited by Gavin Wallace and Randall Stevenson, Edinburgh University Press (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1993.
Hargis, Margaret Finley, William Boyd Family, M. F. Hargis (Warrenton, VA), 1995.
Books, spring, 1999, review of Armadillo, p. 23.
Books and Bookman, October 1995, p. 19.
Boston Review, September, 1985, Judith Wynn, review of A Good Man in Africa, pp. 27-28; June, 1988, p. 28.
British Book News, January, 1986, p. 54.
Daily Telegraph (London, England), April 20, 2002, Toby Clements, "He Made the Whole Thing Up; A Mock Journal with Spot-on Mimicry Almost Convinces Toby Clements," review of Any Human Heart: The Intimate Journals of Logan Mountstuart, p. 6.
Detroit Free Press, August 26, 1984.
Detroit News, August 12, 1984.
Guardian, April 9, 1998, John Mullan, "Sting in Manhattan," p. 11; February 19, 1998, Mark Lawson, "Frozen Assets" (interview), pp. 11-12; April 20, 2002, Giles Foden, review of Any Human Heart, p. 9.
Hudson Review, winter, 1986; autumn, 1988; winter, 1992; winter, 1996.
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2002, review of Any Human Heart, p. 1636.
London Review of Books, October 1, 1987; June 4, 1998, Alex Ivanovitch, "Onomastics," pp. 28-29; September 27, 1990, pp. 19-20; September 23, 1993, p. 22.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, March 27, 1983; August 26, 1984; May 26, 1985; June 19, 1988, p. 2, 8; July 7, 1991, pp. 2, 7; February 26, 1995, pp. 3, 9; January 19, 1997, p. 11.
New Republic, April 25, 1983; Jack Beatty, review of An Ice-Cream War: A Tale of the Empire, p. 37; July 8, 1985, Gerald Epps, review of Stars and Bars, pp. 41-42; June 13, 1988, Thomas R. Edwards, audio of The New Confessions, pp. 32-34; January 25, 1993, Stanley Kauffmann, review of Chaplin (movie review), p. 28.
New Scientist, October 13, 1990, Robin McKie, review of Brazzaville Beach, p. 47.
New Statesman, January 30, 1981, Alan Hollinghurst, review of A Good Man in Africa, p. 19; July 17, 1981, Bill Greenwell, review of On the Yankee Station, p. 21; September 17, 1982, Harriett Gilbert, review of An Ice Cream War, p. 21; September 21, 1984, Roger Lewis, review of Stars and Bars, p. 29; December 6, 1985, Alan Brien, review of Stars and Bars, p. 110; October 2, 1987; March 6, 1998, Jason Cowley, review of Armadillo, p. 48; April 17, 1998, Jessica Smerin, review of Nat Tate: An American Artist, 1928-1960, p. 43; September 20, 1999, Jonathan Romney, review of The Trench, p. 48; April 1, 2002, review of Any Human Heart, p. 55.
New Statesman and Society, September 14, 1990, Sean French, review of Brazzaville Beach, p. 38; September 24, 1993, p. 24.
Newsweek, January 14, 1985; David Lehman, review of On the Yankee Station, p. 104; May 6, 1985, Peter S. Prescott, review of Stars and Bars, p. 80; July 8, 1991, Peter S. Prescott, review of Brazzaville Beach, p. 59; April 20, 1998, Malcolm Jones, "The Late Great Tate: An Artist Is Rediscovered; April Fool," p. 62; February 24, 2003, Malcolm Jones, review of Any Human Heart, p. 66.
New Yorker, April 12, 1982, review of A Good Man in Africa, p. 153; April 25, 1983, review of An Ice Cream War, p. 154; October 15, 1984, review of On the Yankee Station, p. 177; May 20, 1985, review of Stars and Bars, p. 125; April 8, 1991, Terrence Rafferty, movie review of Mister Johnson, p. 82; October 21, 1991, John Updike, review of Brazzaville Beach, p. 129; March 27, 1995, Zoe Heller, review of The Blue Afternoon, pp. 100-101.
New York Review of Books, June 2, 1983, Robert Towers, review of An Ice Cream War, pp. 42-43; October 10, 1991, Thomas R. Edwards, review of Brazzaville Beach, p. 33-34.
New York Times, April 6, 1982, Michiko Kakutani, review of A Good Man in Africa, p. 25; April 25, 1982, Mona Simpson, review of A Good Man in Africa, p. 12; December 5, 1982, review of A Good Man in Africa, p. 87; February 27, 1983, Michael Gorra, review of An Ice Cream War, p. 8; April 5, 1983, Michiko Kakutani, review of An Ice Cream War, p. C13; May 21, 1983; July 2, 1984, Michiko Kakutani, review of On the Yankee Station, p. 15; August 5, 1984; Bernard McCabe, review of On the Yankee Station, p. 12; April 14, 1985, Caroline Seebohm, review of Stars and Bars, p. 17; August 9, 1986, Michiko Katutani, review of School Ties, p. 11; March 18, 1988, Vincent Canby, movie review of Stars and Bars, p. 20; April 27, 1988, Michiko Kakutani, review of The New Confessions, p. 18; December 28, 1990, John J. O'Connor, television review of Scoop, p. B4; May 31, 1991, Michiko Kakutani, review of Brazzaville Beach, p. C29; December 25, 1992, Vincent Canby, movie review of Chaplin, p. B6; April 11, 1995, Michiko Kakutani, review of The Blue Afternoon, p. B2; April 9, 1998, Sarah Lyall, review of Nat Tate, p. E6; November 3, 1998, Richard Bernstein, review of Armadillo, p. E6; November 19, 2000, William Boyd, "Seeking Answers down in the Trenches," movie review of The Trench, p. AR13; November 22, 2000, Stephen Holden, movie review of The Trench, p. B3; August 2, 2002, Julie Salamon, television review of Armadillo, p. B1.
New York Times Book Review, August 31, 1986, Patricia T. O'Conner, review of Stars and Bars, p. 20; May 29, 1988, Michael Wood, review of The New Confessions, p. 5; June 23, 1991, Blanche d'Alpuget, review of Brazzaville Beach, p. 14; April 2, 1995; Thomas Keneally, review of The Blue Afternoon, p. 6; January 12, 1997; January 19, 1997, Michael Upchurch, audio review of An Ice Cream War, pp. 9-10; June 14, 1998, Paul Mattick,"Imagining Imaginary Artists," p. 35; November 14, 1999, review of An Ice Cream War, p. 38; February 16, 2003, review of Any Human Heart, p. 9; March 2, 2003, review of Any Human Heart, p. 26; March 16, 2003, review of Any Human Heart, p. 26
Observer (London, England), September 12, 1982, p. 32; October 27, 1985; August 28, 1988; September 27, 1987; October 2, 1988; September 16, 1990, p. 55; June 18, 1995; February 7, 1999, review of Armadillo, p. 14; December 30, 2001, review of Any Human Heart, p. 14; September 2, 2001, review of Armadillo, p. 18; April 14, 2002, review of Any Human Heart, p. 17.
Publishers Weekly, February 26, 1982, review of A Good Man in Africa, p. 140; January 28, 1983, Barbara A. Bannon, review of An Ice Cream War, p. 71; April 8, 1983, review of A Good Man in Africa, p. 57; May 18, 1984, review of On the Yankee Station, p. 143; February 15, 1985, review of Stars and Bars, p. 88; June 6, 1986; April 15, 1988, Sybil Steinberg, review of The New Confessions, p. 74; April 29, 1988, Amanda Smith, "William Boyd" (interview), pp. 56-57; April 5, 1991, Sybil Steinberg, review of Brazzaville Beach, p. 136; January 9, 1995, review of The Blue Afternoon, p. 55; January 9, 1995, Paul Nathan, "Times Past," p. 24; January 27, 1997, review of The Destiny of Nathalie "X" and Other Stories, p. 80; July 27, 1998, review of Armadillo, p. 50; December 2, 2002, review of Any Human Heart, p. 34; March 3, 2003, Sybil Steinberg, "William Boyd: Resisting the Last Word" (interview), p. 49.
Punch, October 3, 1984; August 24, 1990, pp. 46-47.
Quill & Quire, May, 1985; November, 1990, p. 25.
Sewanee Review, fall, 1999, review of Armadillo, p. 600.
Southern Review, winter, 1998, Thomas Keneally, review of Brazzaville Beach, p. 76.
Spectator, February 28, 1981; August 8, 1981, pp. 21-22; November 28, 1981; September 11, 1982, pp. 23-24; December 18, 1982; January 1, 1983; October 6, 1984; October 3, 1987; September 15, 1990, Anita Brookner, review of Brazzaville Beach, p. 38; June 1, 1991; November 23, 1991; May 20, 1995; April 20, 2002, review of Any Human Heart, p. 41.
Texas Studies in Literature and Language, spring, 2000, Pierre Vitoux,"The Uses of Parody in William Boyd's The New Confessions," p.79.
Time, July 30, 1984, Pico Iyer, review of On the Yankee Station, p. 103; May 20, 1985, Martha Duffy, review of Stars and Bars, p. 82; May 30, 1988, Martha Duffy, review of The New Confessions, p. 62; June 24, 1991, Martha Duffy, review of Brazzaville Beach, p. 64; February 6, 1995, Martha Duffy, review of The Blue Afternoon, p. 74; February 17, 2003, Lev Grossman, review of Any Human Heart, p. 76.
Times (London, England), October 28, 1981; February 28, 1983; September 20, 1984; September 28, 1987.
Times Literary Supplement, January 30, 1981, D. A. N. Jones, review of A Good Man in Africa, p. 106; July 17, 1981, Andrew Motion, review of On the Yankee Station, p. 803; September 17, 1982, p. 993; October 22, 1982; September 21, 1984; September 25, 1987; September 14, 1990, p. 970; May 19, 1995; April 19, 2002, James Campbell, review of Any Human Heart, p. 22.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), May 8, 1988, pp. 5, 9; February 2, 1997, p. 3.
Village Voice Literary Supplement, September, 1984; May, 1985.
Virginia Quarterly Review, summer, 1999, review of Armadillo, p. 94.
Vogue, May, 1988, Rhoda Koenig, "Rude Confessions: England's Best Storyteller Gives His Characters an Absurdly Hard Time," p. 16; June, 1991, Christopher Hitchens, review of Brazzaville Beach, p. 84; February, 1995, Rhoda Koenig, review of The Blue Afternoon, p. 161.
Wall Street Journal, July 25, 1988, Susan Vigliante, review of The New Confessions, p. 11; June 26, 1991, Lee Lescaze, review of Brazzaville Beach, p. A9; December 24, 1992, Julie Salamon, movie review of Chaplin, p. A5.
Washington Post, May 31, 1988, April 10, 1998, Paula Span, review of Nat Tate, p. B1; September 6, 1998, review of Armadillo, p. 10; July 28, 2002, Martie Zad, "A & E's Armadillo: Who's in the Shell?," p. Y04.
Washington Post Book World, March 20, 1983; July 10, 1983; August 5, 1984; April 28, 1985, pp. 3, 9; November 24, 1985; August 17, 1986; May 8, 1988; June 4, 1989; June 2, 1991, pp. 1, 14; February 19, 1995, p. 5.
Woman's Journal, March, 1999, review of Armadillo, p. 18.*