Sir Kingsley William Amis, CBE (16 April 1922 – 22 October 1995) was an English novelist, poet, critic, and teacher. He wrote more than 20 novels, six volumes of poetry, a memoir, various short stories, radio and television scripts, along with works of social and literary criticism. According to his biographer, Zachary Leader, Amis was "the finest English comic novelist of the second half of the twentieth century." He is the father of British novelist Martin Amis.
In 2008, The Times ranked Kingsley Amis thirteenth on their list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.
Life and career
Kingsley Amis was born in Clapham, south London, the son of William Robert Amis, a mustard manufacturer's clerk in the City of London and his wife, Rosa Annie (née Lucas). He was raised in Norbury – in his later estimation "not really a place, it's an expression on a map [-] really I should say I came from Norbury station". He was educated at the City of London School on a scholarship, after his first year, and in April 1941 was admitted to St. John's College, Oxford, also on a scholarship, where he read English. It was there that he met Philip Larkin, with whom he formed the most important friendship of his life. While at Oxford, in June 1941, Amis joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (but later broke with communism in 1956, after Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced former Soviet premier Joseph Stalin in his speech On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences). After only a year, in July 1942, he