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Christopher Priest (Christopher McKenzie Priest) Biography

(1943– ), (Christopher McKenzie Priest), Indoctrinaire, Fugue for a Darkening Island, Inverted World, A Dream of Wessex

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British novelist, born in Manchester; he left school at 16 and became an accountant. He began as a writer of science fiction with speculative novels such as Indoctrinaire (1970), Fugue for a Darkening Island (1972), Inverted World (1974), and A Dream of Wessex (1977). In his later work futuristic projections gave way to settings more or less contemporary and familiar, but distorted by the psychological confusions and manipulations of the characters. The Glamour (1984) describes a number of invisible people who may or may not be delusions. The Quiet Woman (1990) uses plausible elements—the murder of an elderly CND campaigner, a nuclear accident that has polluted southwest Britain, the violent fantasies of a schizophrenic and unreliable narrator—to build a disturbingly open-ended story of deceit and individual helplessness. He has also written short stories, film scripts, and a book for children about film-making.

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