Jonathan Coe

Infobox Writer
name = Jonathan Coe

caption = At Humber Mouth Festival on 19 June 2006
pseudonym =
birthdate = birth date and age|1961|8|19|df=y
birthplace = Birmingham, England
deathdate =
deathplace =
occupation = Novelist
nationality = British
period = 1987-present
genre = Satire
subject =
movement =
influences =
influenced =
website =
footnotes =

Jonathan Coe, born 19 August 1961 in Birmingham, is a British novelist and writer. His work usually has an underlying preoccupation with political issues, although this is often expressed seriously in the form of satire. For example, "What a Carve Up!" reworked the plot of an old 1960s spoof horror film of the same name, in the light of the 'carve up' of the UK's resources which some felt was carried out by Margaret Thatcher's right wing Conservative governments of the 1980s. He studied at King Edward's School, Birmingham and Trinity College, Cambridge, before teaching at the University of Warwick. In July 2006 Coe was given an honorary degree by The University of Birmingham.

Both "What a Carve Up!" and "The Rotters' Club" have been adapted as drama serials for BBC Radio 4; "The Rotters' Club" (which was set in a very lightly fictionalised version of his old school in the 1970s King Edward's School, Birmingham) was also adapted for television and broadcast on BBC Two. "The Dwarves of Death" was filmed as "Five Seconds to Spare".

In a recent article ["My last conversation with Aung San Suu Kyi" by John Pilger, 3 Oct 2007, [] ] , British journalist John Pilger mentions sending a copy of "What a Carve Up!" to the imprisoned Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Musical collaborations

Music is a constant thread in Coe's oeuvre, and he tried to find a record label as a performer before he became a published novelist. He had to wait until 2001 to make his first appearance on a record with "9th & 13th" (Tricatel, 2001), a collection of readings of his own writings set to music by jazz pianist/double bass player Danny Manners and indiepop 'cult' artist Louis Philippe.

In particular, Coe is a lifelong fan of Canterbury progressive rock. His novel "The Rotters' Club" is name after an album by Hatfield and the North. He's contributed to the liner notes for that band's archival release "Hatwise Choice". [ [ Hatfield and the North website] ] He recently said: "I'd love to find a pianist to collaborate with - maybe Alex Maguire, who is now playing with the reformed line-up of Hatfield and the North". Coe has also collaborated with flautist Theo Travis.


*"The Accidental Woman" Duckworth, 1987
*"A Touch of Love" Duckworth, 1989
*"The Dwarves of Death" Fourth Estate, 1990
*"What a Carve Up!" or "The Winshaw Legacy" Viking, 1994 (winner of the 1994 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize)
*"The House of Sleep" Viking, 1997 (winner of the Prix Médicis)
*"The Rotters' Club" Viking, 2001 (winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize).
*"The Closed Circle" Viking, 2004
*"The Rain Before It Falls" Viking, 2007


* "Humphrey Bogart: Take It and Like It" Bloomsbury, 1991, a biography of Humphrey Bogart
*"James Stewart: Leading Man" Bloomsbury, 1994, a James Stewart biography
*"Like a Fiery Elephant: The Story of B. S. Johnson" Picador, 2004 (winner of the 2005 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction)


External links

* [ Closing the Circle: Jonathan Coe In Interview]
* [ Online discussion about Jonathan Coe and B.S. Johnson]
* [ "Letter from England: A Blairite Novel"] Review of Coe's "The Closed Circle" in "n+1" magazine.
* [ A one-hour interview] about his writing (France-Culture, Bibliothèque étrangère, Francesca Isidori)
* [ Jonathan Coe on Writing]
* [ Audio Podcast on BBC4's Bookclub]
* [ Jonathan Coe reading from "The Rain Before It Fall" at writLOUD]

NAME= Coe, Jonathan
SHORT DESCRIPTION= English novelist
DATE OF BIRTH= 19 August 1961
PLACE OF BIRTH= Birmingham, UK

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