Wilson, A.N.in full Andrew Norman (b. Oct. 27, 1950, Stone, Staffordshire, Eng.)
English essayist, journalist, and author of satirical novels of British society and of scholarly biographies of literary figures. His characters are typically eccentric, sexually ambiguous, and aimless.
Wilson attended New College, Oxford, began a teaching career, and spent a year training for the priesthood before deciding to concentrate on writing. His first novel, The Sweets of Pimlico (1977), centers upon an introverted woman who is drawn into the mysterious world of an elderly, aristocratic man. His next two novels, Unguarded Hours (1978) and Kindly Light (1979), chronicle the misadventures of a man who begins a career in organized religion.
Wilson's satiric writing ranged from the sometimes outrageous comedy of Who Was Oswald Fish? (1981) and Scandal (1983) to the black comedy of The Healing Art (1980) and Wise Virgin (1982). His other novels include works set in the past, Gentleman in England (1985) and Love Unknown (1986), and a novel sequence about a well-known biographer that included Incline Our Hearts (1988), A Bottle in the Smoke (1990), Daughters of Albion (1991), and Hearing Voices (1995). An esteemed biographer himself, Wilson wrote books on Sir Walter Scott, John Milton, Hilaire Belloc, Leo Tolstoy, C.S. Lewis, and Jesus Christ. He also composed essays on religion and contributed regularly to several London newspapers.