(John Frederick) Norman Lewis (28 June 1908 – 22 July 2003) was an influential British journalist and a prolific author. Best known for his travel writing, he also wrote twelve novels and several volumes of autobiography.

Subjects he explored in his travel writing include life in Naples during the Allied liberation of Italy (Naples ’44); Vietnam and French colonial Indochina (A Dragon Apparent); Indonesia (An Empire of the East); Burma (Golden Earth); tribal peoples of India (A Goddess in the Stones); Sicily and the Mafia (The Honoured Society and In Sicily); and the destruction caused by Christian missionaries in Latin America and elsewhere (The Missionaries).

His newspaper article entitled “Genocide in Brazil” (1969) prompted the creation of Survival International—an organisation dedicated to the protection of indigenous peoples around the world.

Graham Greene described Lewis as “one of the best writers, not of any particular decade, but of our century”.

Books in order of publication:

Novels

  • Samara (Cape 1949)
  • Within the Labyrinth (Cape 1950; US: 1986 Carroll)
  • A Single Pilgrim (Cape 1953; US: 1953 Rinehart)
  • The Day of the Fox (Cape 1955; US: 1955 Rinehart)
  • The Volcanoes Above Us (Cape 1957; US: 1957 Pantheon, not dated)
  • Darkness Visible (Cape 1960; US: 1960 Pantheon)
  • The Tenth Year of the Ship (Collins 1962; US: 1962 Harcourt)
  • A Small War Made to Order (Collins 1966; US: 1966 Brace)
  • Every Man’s Brother (Heinemann 1967; US: 1968 Morrow)
  • Flight from a Dark Equator (Collins 1972; US: 1972 Putnam)
  • The Sicilian Specialist (Random 1974; UK: 1975 Collins)
  • The German Company (Collins 1979)
  • The Cuban Passage (Collins 1982; US: 1982 Pantheon)
  • A Suitable Case for Corruption (Hamilton 1984; US: 1984 Pantheon, as The Man in the Middle)
  • The March of the Long Shadows (Secker 1987)

Travel and miscellaneous

  • Spanish Adventure (1935, later disowned)
  • Sand and Sea in Arabia (Routledge 1938)
  • A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Indochina (Cape 1951, Eland 1982; US: Scribner’s 1951)
  • Golden Earth: Travels in Burma (Cape 1952; US: Scribner’s 1952)
  • The Changing Sky: The Travels of a Novelist (Cape 1959; US: Pantheon 1959)
  • The Honoured Society: The Mafia Conspiracy Observed (Collins 1964, Eland 2003; US: Putnam’s 1964)
  • Naples ’44 (Collins 1978, Eland 1983; US: Pantheon 1978)
  • Voices of the Old Sea (Hamilton 1984; US: Viking 1985)
  • Jackdaw Cake (Hamilton 1985; new edition by Eland 2013) – an autobiography
  • A View of the World (Eland 1986)
  • The Missionaries (Secker 1988; US: McGraw 1988)
  • To Run Across the Sea (Cape 1989)
  • A Goddess in the Stones: Travels in India (Cape 1991; US: Holt 1992) (Thomas Cook Travel Book Award)
  • An Empire of the East: Travels in Indonesia (Cape 1993; US: Holt 1993)
  • I Came I Saw (Picador 1994) – extended issue of ‘Jackdaw Cake’
  • The World the World (Cape 1996; US: Holt 1997)
  • The Happy Ant-Heap (Cape 1998)
  • In Sicily (Cape 2000)
  • A Voyage by Dhow (and other pieces) (Cape 2001)
  • The Tomb in Seville (Cape 2003)