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J. R. Ackerley (Joseph Randolph Ackerley) Biography

(1896–1967), (Joseph Randolph Ackerley), The Listener, Hindoo Holiday, My Dog Tulip

born life father homosexual

British novelist, memoirist, and belletrist, born in London, educated at Cambridge University. As literary editor of The Listener (193559), he commissioned work from writers such as E. M. Forster and Christopher Isherwood. Hindoo Holiday (1932) describes his experiences as private secretary to an Indian Maharajah. Ackerley shows a determination to accept vagaries of human behaviour, a refusal to judge by conventional standards. His apparently light style conceals sharpness of insight. My Dog Tulip (1956) and the successful novel We Think the World of You (1960) are born of his intense love for his Alsatian bitch, Queenie; the novel also conveys delicately but surely homosexual entanglement, even if the terms in which it does so belong to an era of proscription. The memoir My Father and Myself (1968) tells of Ackerley's discovery of his father's extraordinary double life (he had another family which he concealed from Ackerley's mother). It also delineates in a remarkably candid manner Ackerley's own homosexual life.

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