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Clive James Clive James i(A16255 works by) (a.k.a. Vivian Clive Leopold James)
Born: Established: 7 Oct 1939 Sydney, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 24 Nov 2019 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire,
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,

Gender: Male
Expatriate assertion
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Clive James was born and schooled in Sydney. After attending Sydney Technical High School, he completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney. Associated with the Sydney Push during his university years, he was literary editor of Honi Soit and an active participant in student life. After graduating in 1961, he worked as an assistant editor at the Sydney Morning Herald.

In 1962, James moved to England. He has remained an expatriate in the years since. After a period in London, he pursued a second degree at Pembroke College (Cambridge University), where he read English literature. Here he edited several magazines and, in 1966, won election to the presidency of Cambridge's illustrious revue company, Footlights.

Following his university education, James worked as a freelance writer and, from 1972 to 1982, was a television critic for the Observer. James began his successful BBC television career in 1983 with The Late Clive James and also appeared in such shows as Clive James on Television and Saturday Night People. Since then, his various television shows have offered viewers performances, travelogues and interviews. Most recently, James has embraced the internet to circulate his interviews and offer advice for Australians travelling in Britain.

Since the early 1970s, James has published poetry, several collections of criticism, travel writing, novels and several volumes of autobiography. In the 1970s, he also collaborated on six album with British singer-songwriter Pete Atkins, which enjoyed a revival in the early 2000s. While he is not often acknowledged for the quality of his exuberant writing, his style and humour, which some regard as quintessentially Australian, ensure that he remains an important member of a small group of high-profile expatriates.

In 2013, Picador published James' translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy. He has since published a number of other works, including the poetry collections Sentenced to Life (2015) and Injury Time (2017) and collections of non-fiction.

James was diagnosed with leukaemia and emphysema in 2010, and died at his home in Cambridge in November 2019.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2015 BAFTA Awards British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards Special Award For his long career in television.
2014 recipient British Academy President's Medal
2013 Order of Australia Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) For distinguished service to literature through contributions to cultural and intellectual heritage, particularly as a writer and poet.

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Angels over Elsinore : Collected Verse 2003-2008 London : Picador , 2008 Z1572271 2008 selected work poetry

'Well-known for his prose, as well as his TV appearances, Clive James has also established a name for himself in the world of poetry. His previous collections, Other Passports and The Book of My Enemy, were critically acclaimed and accomplished, yet simultaneously accessible and entertaining - and his new book promises more of the same.

'Bringing together poems written over the last five years, Angels over Elsinore is impressive not only in terms of its execution, but also in terms of its scope and versatility.' (Publication summary)

2009 shortlisted Costa Book Awards Costa Poetry Award
y separately published work icon Cultural Amnesia : Necessary Memories from History and the Arts New York (City) : W. W. Norton , 2007 Z1365281 2007 anthology essay prose extract

'An almanac combining a comprehensive survey of modern culture with an annotated index of who-was-who and what-was-what, Cultural Amnesia is Clive's unique take on the places and the faces that shaped the 20th-century. From Charles de Gaulle to Thomas Mann, from Hitler to Wittgenstein, from Argentina to Australia, this varied and unfailingly absorbing book is both story and history, both public memoir and personal record – and provides an essential field-guide to the vast movements of taste, intellect, politics and delusion that helped to prepare the times we live in now.' (Publication summary) 

2008 shortlisted Prime Minister's Literary Awards Non-Fiction
Last amended 28 Nov 2019 08:17:00
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