Luck plays an important part in the careers of writers. In this book David Lodge explores how his work was inspired and affected by unpredictable events in his life. In 1976 Lodge was pursuing a ‘twin-track career’ as novelist and academic. As a literary critic, he made serious contributions to the subject, before carnivalising it in his comic-satiric novel Small World. The balancing act between his two professions was increasingly difficult to maintain, and he became a full-time writer just before he published his bestselling novel Nice Work. Both books were shortlisted for the Booker Prize, in which he was later involved as Chairman of the judges.