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Vivian Leopold James was born on Oct. 7, 1939, in Kogarah, a suburb of Sydney, Australia. His father was taken prisoner by the Japanese at the beginning of World War II and died when the American transport plane carrying him back to Australia crashed into Manila Bay.He changed his first name to Clive after Vivian Leigh became famous for starring in Gone With the Wind. After graduating from the University of Sydney and working briefly as an assistant editor on The Sydney Morning Herald, Mr. James set sail for London in 1962. The first volume of his autobiography, "Unreliable Memoirs", which was published in 1980 and rose to the top of the best-seller list in Britain, described his childhood in Australia. Its sequel, "Falling Towards England", covered, in often painful detail, his mostly unsuccessful attempts to gain traction in London, where he shared a flat with the future filmmaker Bruce Beresford. Pembroke College, Cambridge, came to the rescue, offering him a place. Mr. James did manage to earn a degree and even embarked on a doctoral dissertation. Eric Idle, the future Monty Python star, welcomed him into Footlights, the student theatrical troupe; he became its president. He pressed his poems on every journal available and parlayed his enthusiasm for Hollywood. A scrambling career in literary journalism followed, recounted in "North Face of Soho". His essays were first collected in "The Metropolitan Critic" (1974). Later collections included "At the Pillars of Hercules" (1977) and "From the Land of Shadows" (1982). His television criticism, issued in book form in "Visions Before Midnight" (1977), "The Crystal Bucket" (1981) and "Glued to the Box" (1983), was gathered in a single volume, "On Television," in 1991. Clive Leopold James passed away on Sunday 12/01/2019 in Cambridge, England at the age of 80.
— biography from Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts
… (more)
Unreliable Memoirs 948 copies, 11 reviews
Falling Towards England 350 copies, 2 reviews
May Week Was In June 228 copies, 3 reviews
Latest Readings 200 copies, 8 reviews
Flying Visits 190 copies, 2 reviews
North face of Soho 154 copies, 4 reviews
Always Unreliable: Memoirs 150 copies, 1 review
Snake Charmers in Texas 148 copies, 1 review
Brrm Brrm 116 copies
A Point of View 86 copies, 2 reviews
Sentenced to Life 81 copies, 2 reviews
From the Land of Shadows 81 copies, 1 review
Fame in the 20th Century 77 copies, 1 review
The Silver Castle 74 copies, 1 review
Poetry Notebook: 2006-2014 72 copies, 2 reviews
The Remake 66 copies, 1 review
Collected Poems 32 copies
The River in the Sky 31 copies, 1 review
Injury Time 30 copies
Gate of Lilacs 17 copies, 1 review
Poetry 1 copy
The Divine Comedy (Translator, some editions) 19,653 copies, 175 reviews
Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren (Introduction) 132 copies, 4 reviews
Aunts up the Cross (Introduction, some editions) 82 copies, 2 reviews
Collected Poems 1944-1979 (Introduction) 62 copies
Off The Shelf: A Celebration of Bookshops in Verse (Contributor) 28 copies, 1 review
The Best Australian Essays: A Ten-Year Collection (Contributor) 27 copies, 1 review
The Best Australian Essays 2010 (Contributor) 21 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2006 (Contributor) 20 copies, 1 review
The Best Australian Essays 2001 (Contributor) 19 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2007 (Contributor) 19 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2011 (Contributor) 15 copies, 1 review
The Best Australian Essays 2003 (Contributor) 15 copies
The Best Australian Poems 2017 (Contributor) 14 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2014 (Contributor) 10 copies

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