In this authorised biography, Zachary Leader argues that Kingsley Amis was not only the finest comic novelist of his generation, but a dominant figure in post-war British writing, as novelist, poet, critic and polemicist. Drawing not only on interviews with a range of Amis' friends, relatives, fellow writers, students and colleagues, many of them never before consulted, but also on hundreds of previously unpublished letters, Leader's biography will for the first time give a full picture of Amis' childhood, school days, life as a teacher, critic, political and cultural commentator, professional author, husband, father and lover. He explores Amis' fears and phobias, and the role that drink played in his life. And of course he pays due attention to Amis' work. As the editor of "The Letters of Kingsley Amis", hailed in the "Sunday Telegraph" as 'one of the last major monuments to the epistolary art', Leader is more than qualified to be his authorised biographer. His book will surprise, entertain and illuminate.