Aged 27, Malcolm Bradbury was in hospital with a serious heart condition that he wasn’t expected to survive. He both survived and used his confinement to write his breakthrough novel, Eating People Is Wrong.
Bradbury, who died in 2000, had a garlanded career as a teacher and writer. He was an expert on the modern novel and, with Angus Wilson, established the fabled creative writing MA at the University of East Anglia (early students included Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro). As a novelist he was known for his ‘campus novels’, especially The History Man (1975), but disliked the term, insisting his concern was ‘with issues of change and liberation, the problems of humanism’ rather than just university life. Bradbury was also an accomplished television scriptwriter.
Bradbury was also a judge for the one-off Booker of Bookers prize.