Laurie Evan Owen's childhood switched from the bomb sites of Birmingham to an extravagantly rural Buckinghamshire, and thence to the mild claustrophobia of small town life in Oxfordshire. After grammar school and art school in Oxford, he studied painting at the Royal Academy and worked as an artist in North London for ten years, before marrying, raising children, earning money as a house painter, writing, becoming a well-known community activist, retiring, divorcing and then moving to the Sussex coast.
He cites the following as direct or indirect influences on his writing:
the fiction of Dickens, Joyce, Beckett, Lewis Carroll and Bruno Schulz,
the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Ezra Pound and Wallace Stevens,
the painting of Titian, Delacroix, Bacon and Auerbach (for whom he sat in the 1970s),
the music of J S Bach, Schubert, Weill/Brecht and Captain Beefheart,
the films of Welles, Fellini, Bergman, Lynch and Hitchcock,
the literary criticism of Harold Bloom,
the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare.
Laurie now lives in Worthing, where he is working on his next work
of dubious fiction, provisionally entitled The Lives of Qat.
He is also the executive editor of a new arts zine called The Action.
The zine has the tagline of ‘Worthing Outsider Culture – Warts ‘n’
All’ and aims to undermine his area’s prevailing ethos of Daily Mail
small-mindedness, timid traditionalist pap and lazy subservience to
cultural fashion. It is also, needless to say, fiercely anti-Tory.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Head of Laurie Owen by Frank Auerbach (1972)
Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester