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Literature from the 1980s


The Independent looks back to the 1980s and the generation of novelists that includes Rushdie, Amis, Banks, Barnes and so on.

The inaugural Granta Best of Young British Novelists list in 1983 spelt out who was in vogue to a literary public eager to take notes. Martin Amis, Pat Barker, Julian Barnes, William Boyd, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Graham Swift and Rose Tremain gained instant fame from the Granta nomination. Also on the list were A N Wilson, Adam Mars-Jones, Lisa St Aubin de Teran and Christopher Priest.

I began the 1980s as a 12-year-old school boy and finished them working in my first job after college. My literary radar for the 1980s was more like CS Lewis, Richard Adams’ Watership Down, Rosemary Sutcliff’s Eagle of the Ninth, Kidnapped and Treasure Island, and once I got to college I can’t even remember picking up a book.

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Richard Davies

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