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Nigel Dennis (Nigel Forbes Dennis) Biography

(1912–89), (Nigel Forbes Dennis), Encounter, Boys and Girls Come out To Play, Cards of Identity

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British novelist and dramatist, born in Bletchingley, Surrey, educated in Rhodesia, Austria, and Germany. He was an outstanding journalist and became co-editor of Encounter. Much of his first novel, Boys and Girls Come out To Play (1949), is set in America where he had worked as a journalist from 1931 to 1949. Cards of Identity (1955), which Dennis adapted for the stage in 1956, is widely regarded as his finest work; an extravagantly inventive satire on the shallowness of human identity in modern civilization, the novel culminates, in ‘The Prince of Antioch’, a sustained parody of Shakespeare. A House in Order (1960), set chiefly in a green-house from which the narrator observes a third world war, forms a tautly concentrated fable on the nature of human purpose. His other works as a dramatist include The Making of Moo (1957) and August for the People (1961). His love of the Mediterranean is expressed in An Essay on Malta (1972) and in Exotics (1970), a volume of poems set mainly in that region.

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