William Golding


William Golding

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

William Golding
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1983

Born: 19 September 1911, St. Columb Minor, United Kingdom

Died: 19 June 1993, Perranarworthal, United Kingdom

Residence at the time of the award: United Kingdom

Prize motivation: “for his novels which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world of today”

Language: English

Prize share: 1/1


William Golding was born in Cornwall, England. He began studies in the natural sciences at the University of Oxford, but soon abandoned them to instead devote himself to English literature. For several years he worked as a teacher before enlisting in the British Navy in 1940. Golding took part in several battles during World War II, and his wartime experiences are reflected in several of his novels. When he was still a child, he decided to become a writer, but his first novel, Lord of the Flies, was not published until he was 43.


William Golding’s debut came in 1934 with the poetry collection Poems. After World War II, he began working on the Lord of the Flies novel, which was published in 1954 after several rejections. The book was widely read throughout the world, and today it continues to be a work that has inspired popular culture in several ways. Golding’s novels are often framed by a tale of adventure, while they explore the human capacity to transform what is good and constructive into something malicious and destructive.

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MLA style: William Golding – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Tue. 27 Feb 2024. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1983/golding/facts/>

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