OBE for Beckett expert

Welcome back! We start the new year with some exciting news for our Beckett scholars.

Jim KnowlsonEmeritus Professor Jim Knowlson was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to literary scholarship. Jim is the world’s leading expert on the Nobel-prize winning novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett and the founder of Reading’s Beckett International Foundation. He is instrumental in the work of the Beckett Archive and Beckett’s only authorised biographer.

Professor Knowlson said: “It is wonderful to be recognised for something that you love doing and something that you are passionate about. I was a close friend of Samuel Beckett for the last 19 years of his life so take great pride in the collection and archives that have been put together.”

Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell said: “Jim Knowlson has had an eminent career, devoted to scholarship of European theatre and the work of his great friend Samuel Beckett. He has been tireless in building the Beckett Archive into the richest collection of material in the world on the literary giant. And he has been in instrumental in making the Beckett International Foundation into a globally-renowned research body.

“Jim is the complete opposite of that lazy stereotype that academics live in ‘ivory towers’. He has friends from all walks of life; is interested in everything and anything; has never failed to help fellow students and staff at Reading throughout his career; and has had a lifelong passion for cricket, which he shared with Beckett.”

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