Round-up of William Golding in the news in November 2020!
As the 2020 US Presidential election unfolded, Lord of the Flies was a frequent referent in news reporting. For instance, Hunter Woodall at the Daily Beast suggested that Republicans in Georgia were doing their ‘best Lord of the Flies impression’. Gabriel Sherman, for Vanity Fair, reported that sources in the White House said ‘a Lord of the Flies atmosphere has enveloped the West Wing’. The coverage mirrors the 2016 election, in which Golding’s debut novel was often cited to describe the situation. We wrote about this here.
The Goldsmiths Prize was established in 2013, to celebrate fiction that ‘breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form’. However, Goldsmiths ran a ‘fantasy’ prize this year to draw attention to older examples of ‘daring and innovative fiction that has had less attention than it deserves’. Golding’s second novel, The Inheritors, was included in this prestigious list.
In the New York Times, writer Robert MacFarlane called The Inheritors an ‘astonishing, underrated novel’.
A wonderful letter was published in The Times from Peter Hunt, who wrote in response to Helen Mirren’s claim that school lessons ruined Shakespeare for young people. Hunt wrote that his English teacher inspired him to read all of Shakespeare’s plays with his ‘vivid’ enthusiasm for Julius Caesar and innovative teaching methods. He said ‘having William Golding as our English master was probably a bit of a help’!