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Graham Greene: A Life In Letters

Richard Greene

4 Reviews

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Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction

The first book of Graham Greene's letters - the most intimate record we have of a life lived at the heart of modern history

One of the undisputed masters of English prose in the twentieth century, Graham Greene (1904-91) wrote tens of thousands of personal letters. This substantial volume presents a new and engrossing account of his life constructed out of his own words. Meticulously chosen and engagingly annotated, this selection of Greene's letters - including many to his family and close friends that were unavailable even to his official biographer - gives an entirely new perspective on a life that combined literary achievement, political action, espionage, travel, and romantic entanglement. The letters describe his travels in Mexico, Africa, Malaya, Vietnam, Haiti, Cuba and other trouble spots, where he observed the struggles of victims and victors with a compassionate and truthful eye.
The book includes a vast number of unpublished letters to Evelyn Waugh, Auberon Waugh, Anthony Powell, Edith Sitwell, R. K. Narayan, Muriel Spark and other leading writers of the time. Some letters reveal the agonies of his romantic life, especially his relations with his wife, Vivien Greene, and with his mistress Catherine Walston. The sheer range of experience contained in Greene's correspondence defies comparison.

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Praise for Graham Greene: A Life In Letters

  • Graham Greene: A Life in Letters will offer the most important contribution to studies of the writer since the completion of Norman Sherry s epic, three-volume biography - BOOKSELLER

  • A triumph of judgment and judicious selection that offers a vivid new picture of Greene the man: his pleasures, foibles and, above all, his generosity... Now, perhaps for the first time, he emerges whole from the shadow of his biographers, as distinctive and memorable as any of his fictional characters. - Ian Thomson, SUNDAY TIMES

  • Impeccably edited by Richard Greene, it succeeds admirably in it s declared purpose: to bring together for the first time in one volume letters that are engaging to read and that reveal Greene s personal, literary, religious and political concerns over a period of 70 years.' - Nicholas Shakespeare, DAILY TELEGRAPH

  • A condensed portrait of the successful literary life in the 20th century. - Craig Brown, MAIL ON SUNDAY

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Richard Greene

Richard Greene is Professor of English at Toronto University and a renowned biographer.

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