Anthony Burgess's book Ninety-Nine Novels: The Best in English since 1939 — A Personal Choice (Allison & Busby, 1984, ISBN 0-85031-585-9) covers a 44-year span between 1939 and 1983. Burgess was a prolific reader, in his early career reviewing more than 350 novels in just over two years for the Yorkshire Post. In the course of his career he wrote over thirty novels.
The list represents his personal choices.
In an interview with Don Swaim Burgess reveals that the book was originally commissioned by a Nigerian publishing company, and written in two weeks.
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Famous quotes containing the words novels, ninety-nine:
“The point is, that the function of the novel seems to be changing; it has become an outpost of journalism; we read novels for information about areas of life we dont knowNigeria, South Africa, the American army, a coal-mining village, coteries in Chelsea, etc. We read to find out what is going on. One novel in five hundred or a thousand has the quality a novel should have to make it a novelthe quality of philosophy.”
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