Wain, John Barrington


Wain, John Barrington
▪ 1995

      British writer (b. March 14, 1925, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England—d. May 24, 1994, Oxford, England), was initially identified with the Angry Young Men, a generation of post-World War II writers who rejected the traditional middle-class strictures and stuffy literary conventions of the British establishment. Much of Wain's fiction, particularly his witty first novel, Hurry On Down (1953; U.S. title Born in Captivity), incorporated the antibourgeois realism and biting satire common to the movement. However, Wain, who felt equally comfortable writing fiction, poetry, plays, literary criticism, and the occasional biography, consistently refused to be categorized. He was educated at St. John's College, Oxford (B.A., 1946; M.A., 1950), where he was founding editor of the literary periodical Mandrake. He also became friends with Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin, both of whom joined him in a series of poetry readings on BBC radio in 1953. Wain taught English literature at the University of Reading (1946-55); later he was a professor of poetry at Oxford (1973-78). His first poetry collection, Mixed Feelings, appeared in 1951. This was followed by more than a dozen volumes of verse, notably Weep Before God (1961), Feng (1975), and Poems, 1949-1979 (1980). Other novels include The Contenders (1957), A Winter in the Hills (1970), The Pardoner's Tale (1978), and Where the Rivers Meet (1988). Wain's nonfiction works include an award-winning 1974 biography of Samuel Johnson, a playgoer's guide to Shakespeare, and two volumes of memoirs. He was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1983.

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  • John Barrington Wain — noun English writer (1925 1994) • Syn: ↑Wain, ↑John Wain • Instance Hypernyms: ↑writer, ↑author …   Useful english dictionary

  • John Wain — noun English writer (1925 1994) • Syn: ↑Wain, ↑John Barrington Wain • Instance Hypernyms: ↑writer, ↑author …   Useful english dictionary

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