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The Many Fictions of William Boyd...

The Many Fictions of William Boyd

 

William Boyd will take to The Apex stage on 27 September to talk about his life as a creator of many fictions, beginning with the publication of his first novel, A Good Man In Africa in 1981 and ending with an exclusive reading from his latest novel, Love Is Blind – released in September.

 

One of Britain’s most popular and highly regarded novelists, Boyd writes intelligent books with fully rounded characters, brimming with challenging ideas and themes. His fifteen novels have been published around the world and translated into some three dozen languages. He has also created four collections of short stories, the screenplays for seventeen films and television mini-series and three produced plays. That’s a lot of fiction for one man.

 

Boyd will relate the stories and struggles that have ensued in this long and lively career. Stories that not only include the inspiration for some of his most famous novels – Brazzaville Beach, Any Human Heart and Sweet Caress, to name but three - but also other matters arising from the business of writing for a living, and living for writing.

 

Stories such as the eleven-year lawsuit against his French publisher (for theft), the particular problems of trying to write a James Bond novel, and, perhaps the most perplexing of his many fictions, his collaboration with David Bowie and the infamous Nat Tate art hoax.

 

Boyd has a lively interest in art, both as a critic and occasional painter. In 1998, he published Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928–1960, the tragic biography of a supposed New York-based 1950s painter named Nat Tate, who never actually existed and was, along with his paintings, a creation of Boyd's. When the book was initially published, it was not revealed that it was a work of fiction. At the glamorous launch party in Manhattan, excerpts were read by David Bowie and Gore Vidal (who were in on the joke) and a number of prominent members of the art world claimed to remember the artist. It caused quite a stir once the truth was revealed.

 

In an interview in The Telegraph, Boyd explained; "My aim was, first of all, to prove how powerful and credible a pure fiction could be and, at the same time, to try to create a kind of modern fable about the art world. In 1998 we were at the height of the Young British Artists’ delirium. The air was full of Hirst and Emin, Lucas, Hume, Chapman, Harvey, Ofili, Quinn and Turk. My own feeling, contemplating the unending brouhaha, was that some of these artists – who were never out of the media and who were achieving record prices for their art works – were, to put it bluntly and perhaps a little unkindly, not very good”

 

Expect a creatively intriguing and revelatory encounter with the real William Boyd at The Apex on Thursday 27 September at 7.30pm.

 

Tickets are £20, ring the box office on 01284 758000 or see the website www.theapex.co.uk for more details, or to book.

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