Malcolm Bradbury Analysis

Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

A prolific writer, Malcolm Bradbury was a highly regarded literary critic whose output of scholarly nonfiction and edited work exceeds his output of novels. He is also well known for his television work, including teleplays, television miniseries, original episodes for television series, and adaptations for television. In addition, Bradbury wrote short stories, poetry, stage revues, and satirical essays.


(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Known first for his satirical campus novels and later for his merging of realism and postmodernism in fiction as well as his literary criticism, Malcolm Bradbury combined his literary work with his academic career. He was a cofounder of the internationally recognized writing program at the University of East Anglia in England, where he was a professor of American studies and a teacher of creative writing. The literary history of America and the importance and vitality of the contemporary novel were his areas of interest, and his contribution to both fields was significant. His novel The History Man won the Heinemann Prize from the Royal Society of Literature in 1975 and his novel Rates of Exchange was nominated for the Booker Prize. Bradbury also won awards for his television screenplays, adaptations, and episodes. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1991, for his services to literature, and was knighted in 2000.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Acheson, James. “The Small Worlds of Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge.” In The British and Irish Novel Since 1960, edited by James Acheson. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991. Critics often couple Bradbury with his friend and sometime-collaborator David Lodge, as their criticism is similar and their fiction is related by their university setting, themes, and tone.

Acheson, James. “Thesis and Antithesis in Malcolm Bradbury’s The History Man.” Journal of European Studies 33 (March, 2003): 41-52. Thirty years after its publication, The History Man continues to be Bradbury’s best-known and most discussed novel. Acheson examines the novel in detail.

Bevan, David, ed. University Fiction. Atlanta: Rodopi, 1990. Several essays situate Bradbury’s work in the campus novel tradition. See Brian A. Connery’s “Inside Jokes: Familiarity and Contempt in Academic Satire” and Keith Wilson’s “Academic Fictions and the Place of Liberal Studies: A Leavis Inheritance.”

Bigsby, Christopher, and Heide Zeigler, eds. The Radical Imagination and the Liberal Tradition: Interviews with English and American Novelists. London: Junction Books, 1982. Bradbury discusses his work in an interview with his University of East Anglia colleague, Christopher Bigsby.


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