In 2013, the curators of the exhibition David Bowie Is revealed a list of the singer’s 100 favourite books. Among the titles that Bowie held dear are novels, political books, musical biographies and comic books, all of which reveal much about his preoccupations and the influences on his own creative output. Two of Anthony Burgess’s […]

  In 1968, Anthony Burgess sold his properties in Chiswick and Etchingham and moved to Malta. The journey to his new home was undertaken by road, in a Bedford Dormobile driven by his new wife, Liana. As they drove south across Europe, Burgess sat in the back of the motor-caravan with his typewriter. Later he […]

In the Burgess Foundation library there is a small collection of the religious texts, including several bibles, the Quran, and several histories of world religion. Among these books is a small volume bound in scuffed leather titled Rituale Romanum. This book contains the Rites of the Roman Catholic Church, and is entirely in Latin. Burgess’s […]

It was the best put-down ever. Although Anthony and I corresponded over various linguistic matters, I met him only once, during a conference organized – I think by the British Council – at Bush House in London, and I think it was in the early 1980s. As that sentence illustrates, I’ve forgotten all the relevant […]

I first met Anthony Burgess on Election Night 1966. As the then editor of the Penguin English Library I had commissioned him to write the introduction to one of the classic English novels. We met in the bar of the Café Royal. Burgess arrived with his then wife, Lynne. We chatted pleasantly for a while […]

In the late 70s Klett-Cotta acquired the German rights for several books by two British writers: Doris Lessing and Anthony Burgess. Having been in a close relationship with the publishers (as an editor and translator, mostly of non-literary material) I was given the choice between the two. Both were unknown to me; my interest in […]

For me the beginning and the end of Burgess’s opus are represented by The Malayan Trilogy and Earthly Powers. Last things were one of his first and enduring concerns, though he never stinted on what went before. His first three novels, which comprise The Malayan Trilogy, are a hot, spicy curry; the ingredients include realism, […]

Earthly Powers (1980) was Burgess’s attempt to write a novel that could display his literary artistry, the intention being something he compares to Ford Madox Ford’s desire when he set out to write The Good Soldier (1915). The novel tells the story of Kenneth Toomey, a homosexual author who is reminiscing about his life. It’s […]

Five writers, some of whom knew him in person, explore Burgess’s life and reflect on their favourite Burgess works, exploring the extraordinary twentieth-century man of letters from different angles. The Essay: Burgess at 100 offers personal as well as critical insight into why he remains a literary figure of such importance. These essays look beyond […]

Our Director, Andrew Biswell, shares his Anthony Burgess recommendations for World Book Night.