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Nigel Williams Biography

(1948– ), My Life Closed Twice, Jack Be Nimble, Star Turn, The Wimbledon Poisoner

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Patrick White (Patrick Victor Martindale White) Biography to David Wojahn Biography

English novelist and playwright, born in Cheshire, educated at Oriel College, Oxford. The comic vein of his writing was already evident in his first novel, My Life Closed Twice (1977), which focuses on a would-be novelist, and continued in subsequent novels such as Jack Be Nimble (1980) and Star Turn (1985). Perhaps his best-known novel is the blackly comic The Wimbledon Poisoner (1990), which delves into the deranged mind of a suburban solicitor and local historian who plans to murder his feminist wife. His fusion of drab realism and comic energy is characteristic of much of his work, including They Came from SW19 (1992; a novel) and Scenes from a Poisoner's Life (1994; stories), further narratives about grotesqueries and derangement behind the respectable façades of Wimbledon. His stage plays include My Brother's Keeper (1985) and Country Dancing (1987). Among his travel works are 2 1/2 Men in a Boat (1992), retracing Jerome K. Jerome's trip on the Thames, and From Wimbledon to Waco (1995), about a family trip to the USA.

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