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In , the family moved to Caldy , on another part of the Wirral peninsula. Their home was a mock Tudor estate on two acres with a tennis court, small golf course and a maid, a cook and a nanny. His father expected him to go to Cambridge and enter the family business, but Malcolm wanted to experience the world and convinced his father to let him work as a deckhand on a tramp steamer to the Far East. In May , his parents drove him to the Liverpool waterfront and, while the local press watched, waved goodbye as he set sail on the freighter S.
In autumn , he enrolled at Cambridge to placate his parents. He spent little time at the university,  but excelled in writing, graduating in with a 3rd class honours degree in English. During his first term, his roommate, Paul Fitte, took his own life. Fitte had wanted a homosexual relationship, which Lowry refused. Lowry felt responsible for his death and was haunted by it for the rest of his life.
Lowry was already well travelled; besides his sailing experience, between terms he made visits to America, to befriend his literary idol, Conrad Aiken ,  and to Germany. After Cambridge, Lowry lived briefly in London, existing on the fringes of the vibrant Thirties literary scene and meeting Dylan Thomas. He met his first wife, Jan Gabrial, in Spain. They were married in France in Theirs was a turbulent union, especially due to his drinking, and because she resented homosexuals attracted to her husband.
United States, Mexico, Canada[ edit ] After an estrangement, Lowry followed Jan to New York City where, almost incoherent after an alcohol-induced breakdown, he checked into Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital in — experiences which later became the basis of his novella Lunar Caustic. When the authorities began to take notice of him, he fled to avoid deportation and then went to Hollywood, where he tried screenwriting.
At about that time he began writing Under the Volcano. Lowry continued to drink heavily though he also devoted more energy to his writing. Jan saw that he wanted a mother figure, and she did not want to mother him. She then ran off with another man in late Alone in Oaxaca , Lowry entered into another period of dark alcoholic excess, culminating in his deportation from Mexico in the summer of His family put him up at the Hotel Normandie in Los Angeles where he continued working on his novel and met his second wife, the actress and writer Margerie Bonner.
At first, they lived in an attic apartment in the city. In , the beach shack was destroyed by a fire, and Lowry was injured in his efforts to save manuscripts. The couple traveled to Europe, America and the Caribbean , and while Lowry continued to drink heavily, this seems to have been a relatively peaceful and productive period. It lasted until , when a final nomadic period ensued, embracing New York, London and other places. During their travels to Europe, Lowry twice attempted to strangle Margerie.
He lived nightly, and drank daily, and died playing the ukulele,"  but the epitaph does not appear on his gravestone. Writings[ edit ] Lowry published little during his lifetime, in comparison with the extensive collection of unfinished manuscripts he left. It is a conflation of several earlier pieces concerned with Bellevue Hospital, which Lowry was in the process of rewriting as a complete novel.
It was to rival the epics of other great modernists, and he referred to it in several personal annotations and letters as the concept evolved over many years and works-in-progress.
Piedra infernal, de Malcolm Lowry