"Anthony Burgess has always attracted acclaim and notoriety in roughly equal measure. Admired for the scope and inventiveness of his literary novels - including Earthly Powers and the Enderby Quartet - and known to a wider audience as the author of the ultra-violent shocker A Clockwork Orange, he was also a brilliant polymath who for many years regarded himself as a composer rather than a writer." "Born in Manchester in 1917, Burgess was motherless from the age of one. His childhood was solitary, his education haphazard, his army career rebellious and his first job unremarkable. Yet after an accidental posting to Malaya inspired his first published novel, he spent time in such diverse places as Rome, Leningrad, Malta and Monaco, all the while writing as extensively as he travelled. Behind a tempestuous first marriage, fraught dealings with publishers and repeated brushes with libel law lay a uniquely creative mind: one ultimately - if not always consciously - concerned with the relationships between real life, fictionalized life, occluded memory and pure invention. His friends may have found themselves transposed directly into his novels, but when Burgess came to write his own memoirs it was his early fictions that provided much of the copy." "Andrew Biswell's biography is the first to make sense of Burgess's life and works in a comprehensive way. It takes in the full range and variety of his writing and looks at his early influences, his chaotic sexual life and the repercussions - both literary and philosophical - of the loss of his Catholic faith. Drawing on extensive interviews, unpublished manuscripts, letters and diaries, The Real Life of Anthony Burgess reveals both the professional writer and the private man as he has never been seen before."--Jacket.