The Good Life by Francis King

Francis King

The Good Life


I think I can truthfully say that I have read more autobiographies over the past twenty-four years than anyone else in the world – with the exception of three people. The reason for this is that I am chairman of the judges of the J R Ackerley Prize for Autobiography. The three people who can make the same boast are my fellow judges, Michael Holroyd, Peter Parker, and Colin Spencer.

People might reasonably assume that, because autobiographies have for so long dominated my reading, my attitude to the genre would be similar to that of a urologist friend of mine who, when I asked why he was retiring prematurely, replied: ‘Because I’m sick and tired of sticking a finger up

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