"Walt Whitman, he who laid end to end words never seen in each other's company before outside of a dictionary." -- David Lodge
David John Lodge CBE, (born 28 January 1935 at Brockley, London, England) is a British author.
In his novels, Lodge often satirises academia in general and the humanities in particular. He was brought up Catholic and has described himself as an "agnostic Catholic". Many of his characters are Catholic and their Catholicism is a major theme. Examples include his novels The British Museum Is Falling Down (1965), How Far Can You Go? (1980; published in the U.S. as Souls and Bodies) and Paradise News (1991).
"Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way round.""Universities are the cathedrals of the modern age. They shouldn't have to justify their existence by utilitarian criteria."
Lodge's first published novel The Picturegoers (1960) draws on his early experiences in 'Brickley' (based on Brockley in S E London) , which are also described in his novel Therapy. World War II forced Lodge and his mother to evacuate to Surrey and Cornwall.
Lodge studied at University College London, obtaining a BA (with honours) in 1955. In 1959 he married Mary Frances Jacob and received an MA from UCL. He went on to obtain a PhD at the University of Birmingham, and taught English literature there from 1960 until 1987, being particularly noted for his lectures on Victorian fiction. From 1964-5 he was Harkness Fellow in the United States. He retired from his post at Birmingham in 1987 to become a full-time writer, but retains the title of Honorary Professor of Modern English Literature at the University and continues to live in Birmingham. His papers are housed in the University of Birmingham Library's Special Collections.
Apart from his frequent themes of academia and Roman Catholicism, Lodge's works tend to feature the same fictional locales. The town of "Rummidge", modelled after Birmingham (UK), and the equally imaginary US state of "Euphoria", situated between the states of "North California" and "South California" feature prominently. Euphoria's State University is located in the city of "Plotinus", a thinly disguised version of Berkeley, California.
Several of his novels, including Small World (1988), and Nice Work (1989), have been adapted as television series, the latter by Lodge himself. Nice Work was filmed at the University of Birmingham. In 1994 Lodge adapted Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit for the BBC.
In 1997 David Lodge was made a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, and in the 1998 New Years Honours list, he was appointed CBE for his services to literature.
Two of Lodge's novels have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize and in 1989 Lodge was himself chairman of the Booker Prize judges. His latest novel Deaf Sentence published in 2008, is a comic novel based on his own hearing problems, about a hard-of-hearing, retired academic.
Winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Yorkshire Post Fiction Prize for Changing Places
Whitbread Book of the Year (1980) for How Far Can You Go?
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize (1984) for Small World
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize (1988) for Nice Work
Winner of the Sunday Express Book of the Year award (1988) for Nice Work
Regional winner and finalist for the Commonwealth Writers Prize (1996) for Therapy
Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
The television serialization of Nice Work (which he adapted himself) won the Royal Television Society's Award for best Drama serial in the year 1989 and a Silver Nymph at the International Television Festival (Monte Carlo; 1990).