Front cover of the biography written by John Carey and the front cover of the memoirs of William Golding by his daughter Judy Golding 

Golding centenary celebrations in home county

The centenary of the birth of Cornwall’s most famous literary son, the author William Golding, will be marked by a major international conference at the University of Exeter’s Tremough Campus, Penryn 16 – 18 September. 

Golding was born in Newquay on 19 September 1911, and died in Perranarworthal on 19 June 1993.

Best known for the enduring classic, The Lord of the Flies, Golding was a prolific author who published twelve novels. He won the Booker Prize in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983. He was knighted in 1988.   

Golding’s daughter Judy who recently published a memoir about her father The Children of Lovers, will be in Cornwall on 16 September to open the conference at 3pm. Judy Golding will give a talk entitled, “The Shadow of the I: First-person Narrative in the Novels of William Golding”. This talk alongside a talk by Professor John Carey, forms part of the two events open to the public and is free-of-charge.

Professor Tim Kendall, Head of English and co-organiser of the conference, said: “It is a great honour to host the centenary conference in William Golding's home county. Golding was a writer with international appeal, but his Cornish roots fundamentally shaped his work. We will do justice to the local and the global aspects of Golding's achievement.”

The conference will close on Sunday 18 September at 11am with a talk by the renowned literary scholar John Carey, whose most recent book William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies is the first biography of the author, and draws almost entirely on materials never before made public.

John Carey is Emeritus Merton Professor at Oxford University. A respected literary critic, he is chief book reviewer for The Sunday Times and a regular contributor on the BBC. Professor Carey’s lecture is entitled Golding in Conversation. 

Talks by both Judy Golding and Professor Carey will take place in the Chapel Lecture Theatre at the Tremough Campus.

The conference is part of the university's collaboration with William Golding Limited, a private company founded by Golding in 1961 and run by the Golding family. It enhances research carried out in the University’s Centre for South West Writing.

As a conference on a major Cornish writer, it augments the study of the relationship between literature and locality that is a strong focus of the University’s English Department in Cornwall. In particular, William Golding’s work is studied in the first year of the BA (Hons) in English in Cornwall, while postgraduate students benefit from the opportunity to work as freelance writers for William Golding Limited. 

Date: 15 September 2011

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