Kingsley Amis is one of post-war Britain’s most renowned novelists and one of the most famous people to have worked at Swansea University. He did so between 1949-61. In 1954 he published his first novel, which became a hit. It was called Lucky Jim and it was a comic satire on higher education, set in a provincial university. There are obvious parallels with Swansea, although Amis always said that he based the story more on Leicester where his friend Phillip Larkin had been working at the time. It is hard to imagine that working in Swansea did not impact the way Amis crafted Lucky Jim. Many of his subsequent novels, including That Uncertain Feeling were based on south Wales, as was The Old Devils, for which Amis won the Booker Prize in 1986.
Sir Kingsley Amis, 1969. © National Portrait Gallery