Books

‘Burning Man: The Trials of D.H. Lawrence’ takes home best biography of the year

The 2022 Plutarch Award – an international biography prize judged exclusively by biographers – has gone to Burning Man: The Trials of D.H. Lawrence. 

Penned by journalist and critic Frances Wilson, Burning Man: The Trials of D.H. Lawrence, has won the 2022 Plutarch Award. Named after Plutarch, the famous biographer of Greek antiquity, it’s a prestigious prize that’s exclusively judged by biographers.

Regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, Lawrence garnered infamy for his controversial work, especially his widely-banned final novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. A pioneer of the auto-fiction genre, his life and career are ripe for a biographical exploration.

Frances Wilson
‘Burning Man: The Trials of D.H. Lawrence’ author Frances Wilson. Photo: Getty

Burning Man focuses on the tumultuous period in Lawrence’s life between 1915 and 1925. During this time, he travelled across the continents (visiting Australia among other places), endured an obscenity trial after the publishing of The Rainbow, and was diagnosed with tuberculosis — which eventually led to his death.

Burning Man The Trials of D.H. Lawrence

Here’s how the judging panel summed up the book:

“It is a tour de force in its delineation of genius. In its imaginative structure, its allusions, and its use of Dante’s Divine Comedy as a kind of poetic guide, it is a demonstration of the golden art and craft of modern biography.”

Burning Man: The Trials of D.H. Lawrence is locally available on August 17.