Sir Vidia Naipaul, who has died at the age of 85, was one of the foremost English-language writers of the late twentieth century. A novelist, memoirist and travel writer, he scoured the globe in search of resonant stories, which he told in a variety of different narrative forms. Born into an Indian family at Chaguanas […]

In the archive of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation there is a file full of documents relating to the cars that Burgess owned from 1968 to 1989. The documents are in Burgess’s original name, John Burgess Wilson. The peculiar thing about this file is that Burgess could not drive. This fact provided the basis for […]

The photographic collections at the Anthony Burgess Foundation span Burgess’s entire life, from his Manchester childhood in the 1910s and 1920s, through his war years, to his latter years as an international man of letters. Perhaps the most evocative images are those taken in Malaya during the 1950s, when he worked as a school teacher […]

These pictures, dating from between 1955 and 1957, have recently been discovered in the Burgess Foundation archive. They show Burgess in front of his class at Malayan Teachers’ Training College in Kota Bharu. The blackboard behind him shows that he is teaching phonetics. Remembering his time in Malaya, Burgess writes, ‘I taught potential teachers of […]

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, […]

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 new exhibition examines Anthony Burgess’s experiences in Malaya in the 1950s, where he worked as a teacher at the Malay College in Kuala Kangsar and at the Malayan Teachers’ Training College at Kota Bharu in the district of Kelantan. As a fluent speaker of Malay and Chinese, Burgess was able to experience the colonial […]

An essay from our collaborative teaching project with the University of Salford.