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Pursued by Furies

Gordon Bowker

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Malcolm Lowry was the troubled author of Under the Volcano (1947), a brilliant novel about the last day of an alcoholic former British consul on the Mexican Day of the Dead, the manuscript of which Lowry rescued from the flames when his fisherman’s shack burned down in 1944. Lowry’s other books were not always so lucky: his first novel, Ultramarine (1930), was stolen after four years’ composition and resurrected from a carbon copy; another manuscript, In Ballast to the White Sea, was destroyed in the 1944 fire. An early draft of In Ballast was discovered this century and published in 2014. Lowry’s life, like his work, was often lost to chaos; Gordon Bowker’s 1994 biography is a masterful account of a life spent adrift.

Critic Reviews

Malcolm Lowry was a ferocious malcontent, freewheeling to self-destruction with the help of mescal, cooking sherry, even bottles of skin bracer ... Rarely has a writer so elaborated his own legend as did Lowry. He was mythogenic; not only could he make the wildest nonsense about himself credible, but encouraged others to add to it. This makes him a murderous subject for a biography ... Gordon Bowker is a trustworthy guide. Fabulously methodical in his research, he has traced various members of the Lowry family as well as the writer's first wife. Pursued by Furies is a gigantic tome, but Bowker writes well and keeps the pages turning. This is probably the last word on Lowry and a handsome achievement ... a fine, intelligent biography.

Ian Thomson, Guardian
Critic Reviews

Intelligent and painstaking ... Pursued by Furies is a cool, thorough and not uncritical appraisal of a dreadful life and is not likely to be superseded.

Ian Hamilton, Sunday Telegraph
Critic Reviews

Gripping and thoroughly engaged ... Lowry's biography won't have to be done again.

Martin Amis, Independent on Sunday

After reading English, Sociology and Philosophy at Nottingham and London Universities, Gordon Bowker worked as a lecturer as well as writing dramas and documentaries for radio and television. He is now a full-time author and journalist. He has written several books about Malcolm Lowry and biographies of George Orwell and Lawrence Durrell.

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