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Writing Home

Writing Home
Your Price: $22.00 CDN
Author: Alan Bennett
Publisher: Picador
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 634
Pub. Date: 2003
Edition: Revised
ISBN-10: 0312422571
ISBN-13: 9780312422578

Writing Home is an eclectic memoir that includes work from Alan Bennett's entire career. This revised and updated edition includes new material from the author, including more recent diaries and his introduction to his Oscar-nominated screenplay for The Madness of King George.

Bringing together the hilarious, revealing, and lucidly intelligent writing of one of England’s best known literary figures, Writing Home includes: selections from his occasional diaries, covering 1980-1990, which have appeared in The London Review of Books; the journal he kept during the production of his first play, Forty Years On, which starred John Gielgud; and accounts of the filming of his television plays. In prefaces, reviews, memorial addresses, and essays, he discusses actors and literary figures such as John Osborne, W. H. Auden, Philip Larkin, and Franz Kafka. And at the center of the book is The Lady in the Van, the riotously funny and poignant story of an irascible London eccentric, Miss Shepherd, who parked herself in a custard yellow van in Bennett's garden for more than 15 years, becoming simultaneously a considerable burden and an important fixture in his life. (One diary entry reads, "I ask her if she would like a cup of coffee. 'Well, I wouldn't want you to go to all that trouble. I'll just have half a cup.'"). It's a tale that provides the raw material for a stage play.

Through Writing Home runs Bennett's unmistakable strain of self-effacing, wry humour and his faultless observation of the perils of personal and social interaction - none of it ever less than outstandingly entertaining. Still, as Bennett brings his considerable wit and intelligence to bear on his artistic environs, "Little England", and Thatcherism, he remains his own lead character. He never spares himself the sometimes withering scrutiny to which he subjects everything he encounters, and thus brings us a tantalizing portrait of the public artist and the private man that makes for a memorable and highly rewarding reading experience.

A chronicle of one of the most important literary careers of the twentieth century, Writing Home is a classic history of a life in letters.

What people say:

"[A] wonderful book, the wit of which spills over even into the index....There’s so much here...[Bennett] is angry, hilariously self-pitying and he writes beautifully." — The Times (London)

"Delightful." — Time Magazine

"A classic performance." — Times Literary Supplement (London)

"Brilliantly perceptive...If anyone wants to define the distinctive Englishness of English writing, they can find it all in this book—modesty, irony, self-deprecating wit, and supremely good observation." — Daily Telegraph (London)

"The book [contains] perhaps the funniest piece ever written about the theater...marvelous, marvelous, marvelous." — The Independent (London)

"Irresistibly well written, wry, witty, every sentence a pleasure...Humane, observant, and sharply intelligent." — Sunday Times (London)

About the Author:

Alan Bennett has been one of England's leading dramatists since the success of Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s. Now regarded as perhaps the premier English dramatist of his generation, he has written ten stage plays, three screenplays, eight television documentaries, and over thirty plays for television. His work focuses on the everyday and the mundane; on people with typically British characteristics and obsessions. He has won multiple awards for all aspects of his work including his writing and acting and has declined both a CBE and a knighthood.