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Wilson, Chris

Entry updated 24 August 2020. Tagged: Author.

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(1949-    ) UK psychologist and author most of whose novels work as a series of attempts to address issues of Identity through narratives featuring solitary Candide-like eccentrics exposed to – but not necessarily trapped by – the world at large. In Gallimauf's Gospel (1986), which is set on a remote Island in the nineteenth century, a monkey is washed ashore and mistaken for a Frenchman, even though her behaviour is inhumanly disruptive (see Apes as Human; Mysterious Stranger). The eponymous Mad Scientist of Baa (1987) surrounds with surreal mechanical Inventions the wife he has selected on Eugenic principles, making her into an alien/alienated creature. In Mischief (1991), an English couple adopts what they think to be a Black child, last survivor of a Brazilian tribe; but as he grows it is clear he represents a species familial to but not identical with Homo sapiens (see Evolution); opportunities for some sharp Satire are honoured. Wurd (1995), which is Prehistoric SF, follows the creation of language (see Linguistics) in a diction meant – with only moderate success, though at times with wit and concision – to represent that early state. The Ballad of Lee Cotton (2005) focuses on another racially-mixed migrant through a distressed and distressing world; Wilson's touch here is light. [JC]

Christopher Paul Wilson

born London: 18 November 1949

works (selected)

  • Gallimauf's Gospel (Brighton, Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1986) [hb/]
  • Baa (Brighton, Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1987) [hb/]
  • Mischief (London: André Deutsch, 1991) [hb/Diana Athill]
  • The Wurd (London: Flamingo, 1995) [hb/Jonathan Minster]
  • The Ballad of Lee Cotton (London: Little, Brown, 2005) as Christopher Wilson [hb/]


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