Geoff Dyer

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Geoff Dyer
Geoff Dyer 2011 NBCC Awards 2012 Shankbone 2.JPG
Born (1958-06-05) 5 June 1958 (age 55)
Cheltenham, England
Residence London
Nationality British
Alma mater Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Home town Cheltenham

Geoff Dyer (born 5 June 1958) is an English writer. As a journalist he writes about a wide range of topics. His published work includes four novels and several books of non-fiction, which have won a number of literary awards. But Beautiful: A Book about Jazz (1991) first brought Dyer's name to the attention of a wider audience, as it appeared in various translations.

Personal background[edit]

Dyer currently resides in London. He was born and raised in Cheltenham as the only child of a sheet-metal worker father and a cafeteria lady mother. In his writings Dyer often describes himself as a "scholarship boy". He obtained a scholarship to study English at Oxford. He is married to Rebecca Wilson, a director at the Saatchi Gallery, London.[1] Dyer's schooling was in Cheltenham and he went on to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he gained a bachelor's degree in English literature. However, in his essay On the Roof he states that while living on the dole in Brixton in the early 1980s, his "quality of study was much higher" than at Oxford. In March 2014, Dyer revealed that he had had a minor stroke earlier in the year, shortly after moving to live in Los Angeles, California.[2]

Writing career[edit]

Geoff Dyer is the author of four novels: Paris Trance, The Search, The Colour of Memory, and, most recently, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi; a critical study of John Berger, Ways of Telling; three collections of essays, Anglo-English Attitudes, Working the Room and Otherwise Known as the Human Condition (a selection from the previous two essay collections published in the US); and five genre-defying titles: But Beautiful (on jazz), The Missing of the Somme (on the First World War), Out of Sheer Rage (about D H Lawrence), Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It, and The Ongoing Moment (on photography). He is the editor of John Berger: Selected Essays and co-editor, with Margaret Sartor, of What Was True: The Photographs and Notebooks of William Gedney.

His most recent book is Zona, about Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 film Stalker (published in the UK and the US in Spring 2012). The book received a favorable review by David Thomson of The New Republic, who called it "so much more fun than the film it addresses."[3]

Geoff Dyer was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2005.[4]

For a lengthy discussion of Geoff Dyer's books see James Wood's essay "From Venice to Varanasi - Geoff Dyer's Wandering Eye", The New Yorker, 20 April 2009

In 2009, he donated the short story "Playing with..." to Oxfam's Ox-Tales project, four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Dyer's story was published in the Fire collection.[5]

Awards and fellowships[edit]



Other works[edit]

  • What Was True: The Photographs and Notebooks of William Gedney (editor, with Margaret Sartor) (2000) ISBN 0-393-04824-1
  • The Selected Essays of John Berger (editor) (2001) ISBN 0-7475-5419-6
  • Granta 79: Celebrity (contributor: Hotel Oblivion)
  • Granta 80: The Group (contributor: On the Roof)[6]
  • Granta 91: Wish You Were Here (Contributor: White Sands)
  • Give Our Regards To The Atomsmashers! (Contributor: Comics In A Man's Life)
  • "In Borges, a Surfeit of Riches", a review of Selected Poems by Jorge Luis Borges, in the San Francisco Chronicle[7]
  • "Space Is the Place", in The Nation.[8]
  • "Albert Camus", from Opencity#9[9] ISBN 1-890447-20-X
  • "The road less familiar", a memoir about being a "scholarly gatecrasher," in The Guardian[10]
  • "Diary: Why Can’t I See You?" London Review of Books 36(7):38, 2014


  1. ^ Geoff Dyer (29 March 2009). "I am What I am: Geoff Dyer". The Sunday Times (London). Retrieved 2011-05-09. 
  2. ^ Dyer, Geoff Diary London Review of Books, Vol. 36 No. 7 · 3 April 2014.
  3. ^ Fairbank, John K. "David Thomson Reviews Geoff Dyer's "Zona" | The New Republic". Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  4. ^ Royal Society of Literature: Current RSL Fellows (Accessdate 03-06-13)
  5. ^ "Ox-Tales". Oxfam. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  6. ^ "On the Roof"[dead link]
  7. ^ Reviewd by Geoff Dyer (18 April 1999). "In Borges, a Surfeit of Riches". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Space Is the Place"[dead link]
  9. ^ "Albert Camus". Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  10. ^ "The road less familiar". London: 8 October 2005. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 

External links[edit]