'You don't know about my life. You aren't going to either'.

The Paper Men

Wilfred Barclay, a curmudgeonly, alcoholic writer of a bestseller is pursued by up-and-coming academic, and would-be-biographer of Barclay, Rick Tucker. Barclay, faced with a failing marriage and obsessed by middle-aged lust, tries to escape Tucker’s attentions by fleeing to Europe. Tucker follows him and the two become engaged in a game of cat and mouse, changing roles and the worlds around them. A satiric tale about the relationship between a biographer and his reluctant subject is a work of great comedy, with an unexpected climax.

The Paper Men: biographer vs novelist. Pictured is Golding's desk.

Listen to Judy Golding discussing The Paper Men

View Judy Golding introducing The Paper Men



Inspiration for the novel came from reading Baker’s biography of Hemingway. Golding imagined ‘the idea of a writer watching his biographer come apart at the seams’ and in […]


Ebble Thatch

The garden in The Paper Men was inspired by Golding’s garden at his house Ebble Thatch, in Bowerchalke, Salisbury. Rick Tucker appears at the end of the […]

News & Articles

Golding event with Penelope Lively and DBC Pierre

Faber Members is hosting an online In Focus event celebrating the work and legacy of William Golding! The event will feature the Booker Prize-winning author […]

'Words may, through the devotion, the skill, the passion and the luck of writers, prove to be the most powerful thing in the world'.

William Golding, Nobel Lecture, 1983