The inescapable reality of death has given rise to much of literature's most profound and moving work. D. J. Enright's wonderfully eclectic selection presents the words of poet and novelist, scientist and philosopher, mystic and sceptic. And alongside these 'professional' writers, he allows the voices of ordinary people to be heard; for this is a subject on which there are no real experts and wisdom lies in many unexpected places.
D. J. Enright (1920-2002), poet, novelist, and critic, was born in Royal Leamington Spa, the son of a postman. He was educated at Leamington College and Downing College, Cambridge. His first collection of poetry, The laughing hyena and other poems was published in 1953. This was followed by an anthology Poets of the 1950s (1955) which gathered together the work of contemporary poets that became known as 'The Movement'. His own poetry was
straightforward, sometimes ironic and almost in the style of light verse, often dealing with themes of inequality.
In fiction, D.J. Enright recreated his own experiences of a British academic in a foreign country. His first novel, Academic Year (1955), has been compared with Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim. Enright published several books for children, including the novels The Joke Shop (1976), Wild Ghost Chase (1978) and Beyond Land's End (1979).