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Norman Lewis Biography

(1918– ), Naples '44, Within the Labyrinth, A Dragon Apparent, Golden Earth

British travel writer and novelist, born in London, educated at Enfield Grammar School. His experiences of active service in Italy during the Second World War were drawn upon in Naples '44 (1978), a documentary treatment of the city in wartime, and the novel Within the Labyrinth (1950). Lewis's reputation as a travel writer was established with A Dragon Apparent (1951) and Golden Earth (1952), which deal respectively with Indo-China and Burma. Voices of the Old Sea (1984), a lyrically retrospective account of the Mediterranean coast of Spain in the late 1940s, A Goddess in the Stones (1991), a vivid record of his journeys in India, and An Empire of the East (1993), recounting his travels in Indonesia, are among the most widely acclaimed of his works. His novels, which include A Single Pilgrim (1953), A Small War Made to Order (1966), and Cuban Passage (1982), are generally informed by the political and social characters of countries in which he has travelled. The Sicilian Specialist (1974) is a fictionalized treatment of the Mafia's involvement in the assassination of President Kennedy. Lewis's autobiography entitled Jackdaw Cake appeared in 1985.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Mary Lavin Biography to Light Shining in Buckinghamshire