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Malcolm Pryce's picture

Malcolm Pryce


UK flag (1960 - )

Born in Shrewsbury, in 1960, Malcolm Pryce went to live in Aberystwyth at the age of nine, where he stayed until his A-levels, doing all the usual adolescent rites of passage stuff along the way. He took a gap year in the days before it was called 'gap', hitchhiked down to Munich and got a job washing dishes at the hotel on the railway station. Leaving shortly thereafter he took work at the BMW factory working a whole year on the production line. In 1980, he headed off to read German at Warwick University, took a Third year out in Freiburg University, Germany and graduated with a First.

After university a small bout of unemployment was followed by a disastrous stint as the world's worst aluminium salesman. Months were spent driving around in a Vauxhall Cavalier throughout the East Midlands where he was unable to sell a single thing to various horny-handed sons of toil who all thought he was a tosser. They weren't wrong. In 1986 he was finally found out, and fired.

Malcolm then decided to become an advertising copywriter and spent ten months knocking on doors before getting into a well-regarded London Agency, spending the rest of the 80s in disbelief at what he was seeing; drunk every single day along with everyone else in the agency including the cat, Nelson, when the recession struck, he started to save money to go travelling.

He quit advertising in 1993 to go around the world. The first stop was Tahiti, where he chilled out for three months before accepting an offer from a Canadian couple to work a passage on their yacht bound for Fiji. He become a deckhand, the main duties for which was keeping night watch, and helping change sails etc. and spent three months island hopping across the South Seas until disembarking in Fiji.

From Fiji, he headed for the Far East, travelling around Thailand and the Philippines where he spent two weeks in a stone-age village with a beautiful maiden he met in a bar. He finally settled in Singapore where He resumed advertising work, won plenty of industry awards and stayed there for five years as Aberystwyth Mon Amour started to gestate. During this time he worked on Singapore Airlines advertising where he experienced his first taste of literary success, writing the Singapore Airlines in-cabin kids' colouring book 'Archibald and the Cheese.' A spare and stark deconstruction of the spiritual estrangement of the child in the modern world, much of the deeper meaning was sadly lost on the kids colouring it in.

He also did tourist promotional stuff for the former headhunters of Borneo - Charming people, in contradistinction to most clients he had to deal with.

He quit his job in 1998 to write Aberystwyth... and travelled round Europe on Inter Rail for the hell of it, writing while travelling. He stayed with friends in London and wrote some more and then booked passage on a Ffyffes banana boat bound for South America. He picked up bananas from Surinam and Guayana and completed his first draft of Aberystwyth. Since then he's been doing more writing, freelance advertising and vagabonding in Asia. He has no plans to return to Blighty until they improve the weather and the trains.
 
Awards
Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Writing Best Novel nominee (2005) : The Unbearable Lightness of Being in Aberystwyth
Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Writing Best Novel nominee (2010) : From Aberystwyth with Love