“There comes a time in each life like a point of fulcrum. At that time you must accept yourself. It is not anymore what you will become. It is what you are and always will be.” – John Fowles
Born in England on this date in 1926, Fowles was a gifted athlete and student and went on to distinguish himself in both the classroom and on the athletic fields before serving in the military at the end of World War II and during its aftermath. Utilizing his military pension and experiences, he studied at Oxford and began what would become an award-winning writing career.
After writing a number of short stories and poems while also teaching English in the Greek Isles, he returned to England and wrote The Collector, a critically acclaimed novel and feature movie, quickly followed by The Magus – based on his time in Greece – and The French Lieutenant’s Woman, which not only was a worldwide bestseller but also the basis for the mega-hit movie starring Meryl Streep.
Over the rest of his lifetime (he died in 2005) he authored a dozen major novels, half-a-dozen collections of short stories and essays, and several books of poetry. Shortly before his death he was named to the London Times “50 Greatest British Writers” in the last half of the 20th Century.
“There are many reasons why novelists write,” he said at the time, “but they all have one thing in common - a need to create an alternative world.”
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