Joyce Cary

Joyce Cary was a distinguished British author, born on December 7, 1888, in Londonderry, Ireland, and passed away on March 29, 1957. He is best known for his novels which explore human freedom and the artist's role in society. His most famous works include 'The Horse's Mouth', 'Mister Johnson', and 'To Be a Pilgrim'. Cary's writing is characterized by a rich understanding of character and a vivid sense of place, often reflecting his own experiences in Nigeria as a colonial administrator.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Horse's Mouth

    The novel follows the life of Gulley Jimson, a boisterous, eccentric, and impoverished painter in London who is constantly in search of the perfect canvas to express his artistic vision. Despite his numerous struggles with society's norms, financial difficulties, and his own physical health, Jimson remains unflinchingly dedicated to his craft. His relentless pursuit of artistic truth and beauty, often at the expense of personal relationships and societal expectations, paints a vivid picture of the passionate, self-destructive artist archetype.

  2. 2. Mister Johnson

    This novel is set in early 20th-century colonial Nigeria and follows the life of Mister Johnson, a young and exuberant African clerk who works for the British colonial administration. Despite the oppressive colonial system, Johnson remains irrepressibly optimistic, constantly trying to bridge the gap between his traditional African culture and the new European ways he admires but doesn't fully understand. His naivety and inability to grasp the consequences of his actions lead to a series of misadventures, ultimately culminating in tragedy. The story is a poignant exploration of cultural collision, identity, and the cost of innocence in a changing world.

  3. 3. A House Of Children

    "A House of Children" is a compelling novel that delves into the lives of the Clare family, who live in a grand house in the English countryside. Set during the interwar period, the story follows the three children as they navigate their privileged yet tumultuous upbringing. With a keen eye for social dynamics and the complexities of family relationships, the author explores themes of class, power, and the impact of societal expectations on individual lives. As the children grow older, they confront their own desires and ambitions, ultimately questioning the values and traditions that have shaped their lives.