Tom Sharpe Biography
(1928– ), Riotous Assembly, Indecent Exposure, Porterhouse Blue, Grantchester Grind, Blott on the Landscape, Wilt
Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Seven Against Thebes (Hepta epi Thēbas; Septem contra Thebas) to Sir Walter Scott and Scotland
British novelist, born in London, educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He was a lecturer in Cambridge and a photographer in South Africa prior to becoming a novelist. Sharpe's savage farces often feature grotesque characters and incidents, and deal with a wide range of political and cultural assumptions. Riotous Assembly (1971) and Indecent Exposure (1973), his first two novels, had South African settings and dealt with aspects of the country's political regime. Porterhouse Blue (1974) was set in an imaginary Cambridge college and focused on the progressive zeal of the new dispensation of academics; it was televised and later followed by a sequel, Grantchester Grind (1995). Blott on the Landscape (1975) satirized the notion of progress for its own sake in its explorations of the building a new motorway and was also filmed for television. Wilt (1976) concerned the nightmarish experiences of Henry Wilt, a college lecturer suspected of murder, whose story continued in The Wilt Alternative (1979). Other novels include The Great Pursuit (1977), The Throwback (1978), Ancestral Vices (1980), Vintage Stuff (1982), and Wilt on High (1984).