Alan Bilton – Biography
Alan Bilton was born in York in 1969. In keeping with the two main sources of employment back then, his family either worked on the railways or in chocolate. Unlike his more practical and mechanically-minded brothers, he became neither a surveyor nor a train-spotter. Rather, he received his undergraduate degree in Literature and Film from Stirling University in 1991, and his PhD (for a study of Don DeLillo, an author with whom he has absolutely nothing in common in any way) from Manchester University in 1995. He then taught American Studies at Liverpool and Manchester, before taking up a post teaching literature, film and creative writing at Swansea University in 1996.
He is the author of three novels, his latest The End of the Yellow House (Watermark Press 2020), The Known and Unknown Sea (Cillian Press 2014), variously compared to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the 1902 movie, A Trip to the Moon, and Dante’s Inferno, and The Sleepwalkers’ Ball (Alcemi, 2009) which one critic described as “Franz Kafka meets Mary Poppins”. In Bilton’s Anywhere Out of the World (Cillian Press 2016), he dares us into a fantastical and strange alternative reality through a collection of short stories, into a labyrinth, a world of nocturnal cities, hapless slapstick and misadventures, lost souls and lost travellers.
As a writer, he is obviously a hard man to pin down. He is also the author of books on Silent Film Comedy (Silent Film Comedy and American Culture, Macmillan, 2013) Contemporary Fiction, (An Introduction to Contemporary American Fiction, Edinburgh University Press, 2002) and co-editor of America in the 1920s (Helm, 2004). His essays, reviews and fiction have appeared in the New Welsh Review, Planet, The Lonely Crowd, The Journal of American Studies, The F. Scott Fitzgerald Review and elsewhere, as well as the anthologies, Sing Sorrow Sorrow (Seren, 2010) and A Flock of Shadows (Parthian, 2013). He is married with one small child and one hairy dog.