Reading, 22

You are going to read biographical information about five writers. For questions 22 . 35, choose from the writers A • E. Some of them may be chosen more than once. When more than one answer is required, these may be given in any order. There is an example at the beginning (0).

According to the text which of the writers:

explores social and political issues in his/her writings?  0:  C

was involved in acting?   22: ____     23: ____

lived in Africa?    24:_____      25:_____

fought in a war?   26: _____      27: _______     28: _____

was raised in a religious environment?    29: _____

wished he/she had gone to University?  30: _____

was born in the 19th century?  31: _____      32:_____ 

was educated in Great Britain?  33:___   34: ___ 35:____

A Generation of Writers

A:  Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys was born in 1894 at Roseau on the island of Dominica in the West Indies. Her mother was a Creole and her father a doctor of Welsh descent. She came to England as a schoolgirl. Later she went to the Academy of Dramatic Art, after which she became an actress working as a chorus girl and film extra. During the First World War she worked as a voluntary cook. In 1919 she left Britain and lived in Paris, where she began, what was later recognized as, a highly successful writing career.

B:  John Wyndham

John Wyndham is one of the several pseudonyms used by John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris. Born in 1903, the son of a barrister, he attended a number of prep schools in England before starting at a progressive independent school, which suited his needs and personality. On leaving school he chose not to go to university (a decision he was later to regret) and instead he worked at various jobs. By 1925, aged 22, he was producing short stories for publication and by 1930, he was writing regularly, sending his short stories (his main output) to American magazines. During the war he experienced both civil and military service and began to write again in 1946, in a style recognized as science fiction. However, he referred to his own writing as logical fantasy. During his lifetime he wrote various novels and short stories, now well-known, several of which have been made into films.

C: Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing was born in Khermanshah, Persia (now Iran) in 1919, of British parents. When she was five the family moved to a farm in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). She left school at fifteen and worked as a housemaid and then as a shorthand typist and telephone operator in Salisbury. Before leaving Africa for England in 1948, she had married twice and had become involved in radical politics. She has written various novels, short stories and non-fiction in which her concern for politics, the changing role of women, and the possiblility of catastrophes are reflected.

D Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was born in 1916 at Llandaff, Glamorgan, the son of Norwegian parents, and was educated at Repton School in Derbyshire. As a young man he joined an expedition to explore the interior of Newfoundland, and on his return he started work at the Shell Oil Company in London. In 1938 he was sent to Dar es Salaam, but at the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 he enlisted in the RAF in Nairobi. He was seriously injured after joining a fighter squadron in Libya, but later saw further active service as a fighter pilot in Syria and Greece. Since then he has written a huge number of short stories for adults and children.

E Liam O’Flaherty 

Liam O’Flaherty was born in 1897 in the Aran Islands, Southern Ireland. He was brought up in a Gaelic-speaking community. He was intended for the priesthood, but finding that his real interest was in a military career, he left university in 1915 and joined the Irish Guards. He served in Belgium during the First World War, but was shell shocked and discharged in 1917. He returned to Dublin where he became involved with the Republican cause during the Civil War. In 1918, he went to work in London, first in a brewery, and then on the stage. Eventually, he joined a ship bound for Rio de Janeiro. He began writing in 1921. Some of his novels have been dramatized; however, he is perhaps best known for his short stories.

Check your answers here

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