The Writers of Wales Database


Roger LewisRoger Lewis was born in Caerphilly in 1960 and educated at Bassaleg Comprehensive, St. Andrews University and Magdalen College, Oxford. He became a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, at the age of 24. A renowned literary journalist and a regular contributor on art and culture, his work has appeared in publications ranging from The Spectator, to Daily Telegraph, The Times and GQ Magazine. He is currently Chief Literary Critic for both Express Newspapers and the Daily Mail.
Roger has written biographies of Laurence Olivier, Charles Hawtrey and Anthony Burgess, as well as a number of other works of non-fiction. His international bestselling biography The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (Century, 1994), which was adapted into a multi award-winning film starring Geoffrey Rush and Charlize Theron, earned Roger an Emmy in 2004. 

Recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters (Hon DLitt) by the University of Hertfordshire at St. Albans Abbey, where he had previously earned a PhD, Roger has been a Visiting Professor at Birmingham City University and was officially nominated for the Oxford Chair of Poetry. His current works in progress, Growing up with Comedians (Century, forthcoming) and What am I Still Doing Here? (Hodder/Coronet, forthcoming), will provide glimpses into the everyday reality of growing up as a butcher's son in a 1960s South Wales mining village.

Married to an educational psychologist and with three sons, Roger divides his time between Herefordshire and Austria. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, the Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Geographical Society, as well as a Member of the Welsh Academy.

With respect to The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (Century, 1994)

"…Torrential psychological biography … a savage but satiating account…"
Daily Mail

"…A fascinating, tragic and instructive story, vividly told…"
Sunday Telegraph

Selected Publications: 
The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (Century, 1994)
The Real Life of Laurence Olivier (Century, 1996)
Charles Hawtrey 1914-1988: The Man Who Was Private Widdle (Faber and Faber, 2001)
Anthony Burgess (Faber and Faber, 2002)
Seasonal Suicide Notes: My Life as it is Lived
(Short Books, 2009)
Growing up with Comedians (Century, forthcoming)
What am I Still Doing Here? (Hodder/Coronet, 2011

Seasonal Suicide Notes: My Life as it is Lived (Short Books, 2009)
Seasonal Suicide Notes"Why does it always rain on me? Because by Christ it does." For some years the renowned biographer Roger Lewis has been entertaining his celebrity friends with a letter at Christmas, which they have been begging him to publish. So here for the first time is a book-length version of this comic masterpiece.

Seasonal Suicide Notes is about one man's heroic daily battles against indignity, untidiness and rush, and his fruitless search for order, peace and solvency. Lewis cheerfully hates weddings and family gatherings, London's literary parties, Morris Dancing, Harold Pinter and everywhere abroad except Austria. He loves big funerals, the actress Liz Smith, the dining car on steam trains, Carry On films and poking fun at Welsh women; and is a passionate devotee of any local story involving wooden legs, dwarves or clowns.

With his sharp eye for folly, his control of high farce and the unexpected deep shafts of humanity despite his malice, Roger Lewis has produced a book both addictive and life-enhancing. Seasonal Suicide Notes is destined to become a cult classic.

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