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10 Literary Family Dynasties

Although we’re no longer bound to become blacksmiths or bakers based on our parents’ jobs, there are some professional skills that persist from one generation to the next. We’ve recently seen the power of artistic genetics with the release of Sophie Crumb’s first book (edited by her father Robert, no less), but it seems that literary DNA is particularly potent. With the holiday season now upon us — and with it, inevitable reunions with close family and distant relatives alike — here’s a toast to ten families for whom writing is part of the inherited legacy.

Kingsley and Martin Amis

Prominent icons of their respective literary generations, this British duo embodies the classic “like father, like son” adage. Sir Kingsley was a prolific novelist, poet, and critic, who wrote more than 20 novels in addition to short stories, radio and TV scripts, literary criticism, a memoir, and six volumes of poetry. His son Martin, meanwhile, is an award-winning and best-selling novelist closely associated with peers Salman Rushdie and Ian McEwan. Both Kingsley and Martin were ranked on The Times’ list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.

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