The Wanting Seed

The Wanting Seed


From the acclaimed author of the dystopian classic A Clockwork Orange, The Wanting Seed is an inventive, thought-provoking and darkly absurd novel set in a work rampant with overpopulation.

The Wanting Seed is part of our Penguin Essentials series which spotlights the very best of our modern classics.

As governments struggle to maintain order in the face of overpopulation and food shortages and homosexuality is glorified in an attempt to further limit family sizes, Tristram Foxe and his wife Beatrice-Joanna find themselves facing dire choices. Their world transforms into a chaos of cannibalistic dining-clubs, fantastic fertility rituals, and wars without anger.


  • Wildly and fantastically funny . . . A remarkable and brilliantly imagined novel, vital and inventive

About the author

Anthony Burgess

Anthony Burgess was born in Manchester in 1917 and educated at Xaverian College and Manchester University. He served in the British army from 1940 to 1946 and was a schoolteacher in England before becoming a colonial education officer in 1954. His Malayan trilogy of novels and a history of English literature were published while he was living in Malaya and Brunei.

He became a full-time writer in 1959 and achieved a worldwide reputation as one of the most versatile novelists of his day. His writings include biographies of Shakespeare and Hemingway, critical studies of James Joyce, stage plays, and two volumes of autobiography. His work as a composer and librettist includes the Broadway musical, Cyrano, and Blooms of Dublin, an operetta based on Joyce's Ulysses.

His 33 novels continue to be published all over the world. They include A Clockwork Orange, Nothing Like the Sun, The Complete Enderby, Earthly Powers, Napoleon Symphony, and Beard's Roman Women, a collaboration with the photographer David Robinson.

Anthony Burgess died in London in 1993.
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