Burgess Anthony (1917-1993)
English novelist, composer, and critic, whose novels are characterized by verbal
inventiveness and social satire. Burgess has also written several biographies.
However, the author's first love was music: he composed a number of works before
publishing his first books. Among Burgess's best-known novels is "A Clockwork
Burgess was a far more complete artist than "A Clockwork Orange" suggests. Born
John Anthony Burgess Wilson on Feb. 25, 1917, in Manchester, England, to
Catholic parents, his mother died of the flu when he was two. He studied English
at Xaverian College and Manchester University and, after graduation in 1940,
served in the British Army Education Corps during World War II as the musical
director of a special services unit, entertaining troops in Europe.
By the time he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 1959, Burgess had
already published his Malayan trilogy of "Time for a Tiger" (1956), "The Enemy
in the Blanket" (1958), and "Beds in the East" (1959). Burgess returned to
England and, with the prospect of only one year left of life, industriously
rattled off five books in 1960 and eleven between 1960 and 1964. He outlived the
doctors' prognosis by 33 years but continued his prolific pace. His preferred
field was classical music, and he wrote several accomplished symphonies. Burgess
held distinguished academic posts and lived in places as far-flung as Malta
throughout the 1970s, and he maintained a steady literary output until his death
from lung cancer in London on Nov. 26, 1993.