Walter Allen

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ALLEN, Walter (1911) British novelist and critic. His historical literary criticism has classic status, which unfortunately has led to neglect of his own fiction". His first novels had working-class Midlands settings, and are clumsy - although they have powerful passages. In Rogue Elephant (1946) and Dead Man Over All he completely changed style, concentrating more on writing from the autonomous position than the political, and on using form to achieve his ends. His masterpiece is All in a Lifetime, an old man's view of his past.

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Selected Books & Recommended Reading
Innocence is Drowned (1938)
Blind man's ditch (1939)
Living space (1940)
The Black Country (1946)
Rogue Elephant (1946)
Arnold Bennett (1948)
Writers on writing (1948)
Reading a novel (1949)
Dead man Over All (1950)
Joyce Cary (1953)
The English novel (1954)
The novel today (1955)

The author left the University of Birmingham with a BA in 1932 and began teaching for a while at his old  school before moving on to the first of numerous lectureships and professorships in the USA . In 1945 he abandoned education and became the literary editor for the New Statesman.

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