History of Literature






English literature


 


Graham Swift



born May 4, 1949, London, Eng.

English novelist and short-story writer whose subtly sophisticated psychological fiction explores the effects of history, especially family history, on contemporary domestic life.

Swift grew up in South London and was educated at Dulwich College, York University, and Queens’ College, Cambridge (B.A., 1970; M.A., 1975). His first novel, The Sweet-Shop Owner (1980), juxtaposes the final day of a shopkeeper’s life with memories of his life as a whole. Shuttlecock (1981) concerns a police archivist whose work uncovers conflicting information about his father’s mental illness and involvement in World War II.

After the publication of Learning to Swim, and Other Stories (1982), Swift released what was then his most highly regarded novel, Waterland (1983; filmed 1992). The story centres on a history teacher who is obsessed with local history and his family’s past. Swift’s other novels include Out of This World (1988), a metaphysical family saga, and Ever After (1992), the story of a man preoccupied with the life of a 19th-century scholar. His subtle, beautifully written Last Orders (1996) won the prestigious Booker Prize. In 2003 he published The Light of Day, which explores a private investigator’s relationship with a client convicted of murdering her husband. Swift’s novel Tomorrow (2007) returns to themes of the family as a woman lies awake, thinking to the following day when she must reveal a long-suppressed, life-altering truth to her twin children.
 

 

 
 
 
 

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