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Books  >>  Biography

Christopher Isherwood

Christopher and His Kind

Christopher Isherwood Christopher And His Kind A Memoir 1929 1939
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Biographical note:

Christopher Isherwood (1902–1986) lived in Berlin from 1928 to 1933 and immigrated to the United States in 1939. A major figure in twentieth-century fiction and the gay rights movement, he wrote more than twenty books.

Main description:

An indispensable memoir by one of the most prominent writers of his generation

Originally published in 1976, Christopher and His Kind covers the most memorable ten years in the writer’s life—from 1928, when Christopher Isherwood left England to spend a week in Berlin and decided to stay there indefinitely, to 1939, when he arrived in America. His friends and colleagues during this time included W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, and E. M. Forster, as well as colorful figures he met in Germany and later fictionalized in his two Berlin novels—and who appeared again, fictionalized to an even greater degree, in I Am a Camera and Cabaret.
     What most impressed the first readers of this memoir, however, was the candor with which he describes his life in gay Berlin of the 1930s and his struggles to save his companion, a German man named Heinz, from the Nazis. An engrossing and dramatic story and a fascinating glimpse into a little-known world, Christopher and His Kind remains one of Isherwood’s greatest achievements.

Review quote:

"Indispensable for admirers of this truly masterly writer."--Peter Stansky, The New York Times Book Review

"The best prose writer in English... The later Isherwood is even better than the early cameraman."--Gore Vidal, The New York Review of Books

"Isherwood freely discusses a dimension of his experience previously repressed in his fiction, his homosexuality. And in telling the truth about himself, he ultimately transcends the limits of autobiography to write what is, in effect, another novel."-- Paul Piazza, The Washington Post


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