David Lodge is a literary critic and novelist who has won numerous awards for his books and was twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize (for Small World and Nice Work).
From a Q & A with the Guardian about his latest novel, A Man of Parts:
How did you come to write A Man of Parts?Learn about who Lodge would like to sit next to at a dinner party.
Preparing an introduction for a new edition of HG Wells's novel Kipps (1905), I looked into his life at the time he wrote it, when he was active in the socialist Fabian Society and involved with the children's writer Edith Nesbit, her husband Hubert Bland, and their daughter Rosamund. This story, in which radical politics, literary life and sexual intrigue were sensationally intertwined, prompted me to write a biographical novel about Wells of the same kind as the one I had written about Henry James, Author, Author.
What was most difficult about it?
First, finding a novel-shaped story in Wells's long life, which encompassed so many varied interests, changes of fortune, literary productions, political interventions, and sexual relationships. Second, how to handle the many flaws and contradictions in his character and behaviour.
What did you most enjoy?