Biography Bares Lord of the Flies Author's Demons

Biographer sheds light on unseen memoirs
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 16, 2009 11:42 AM CDT
Geneticist Barbara McClintock, winner of the 1983 Nobel prize for physiology or medicine, and English novelist William Golding, winner of the 1983 Nobel prize for literature, at Stockholm.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – In an unpublished autobiography, the author of Lord of the Flies described his attempted rape of a 15-year-old when he was about 18, the Times of London reports. While walking with the girl, he “felt sure she wanted heavy sex, as this was visibly written on her pert, ripe and desirable mouth,” William Golding writes in the memoir. They wrestled “like enemies”; he “tried unhandily to rape her.”

Golding “was aware of and repelled by the cruelty in himself,” writes biographer John Carey, who was afforded access to Golding’s unseen archives, including three unpublished novels, a pair of memoirs, and journals. The Nobel Prize-winning novelist also describes creating a Lord of the Flies-like scenario with boys he taught: He would “stir up antagonism” and watch their behavior.