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A great writer nails the sixties, from California to swinging London, in his fearless, insightful diaries - with a preface by Christopher Hitchens.
Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986) was one of the most celebrated writers of his generation. He left Cambridge without graduating, briefly studied medicine and then turned to writing his first novels, All the Conspirators and The Memorial. He spent four years in Berlin writing Mr Norris Changes Trains and Goodbye to Berlin on which the musical Cabaret was based, and then in 1939 he moved to America. He became a US citizen in 1946, where he wrote another five novels including A Single Man, a travel book and a biography of the Indian mystic Ramakrishna. In the 1960s and '70s he turned to autobiographical works- Kathleen and Frank, Christopher and His Kind and October, one month of his diary with drawings by Don Bachardy.
If the purpose of a published diary is to transport the reader into
another person's life, then Isherwood's diaries succeed. They give
you, fleetingly, the illusion of being him * Sunday Times *
His cultural highmindedness makes his lowdown stuff even more entertaining * Daily Mail *
Katherine Bucknell continues to prove an ideal editor. We are told all we need, and nothing we don't. nothing is repeated, and references to living persons feel both substantive and discreet. The Sixties counts as a model accomplishment of the professional and scrupulous handling of an important literary manuscript * Literary Review *
These volumes will shed much light not just on Isherwood the writer but on the 1960s in America * Contemporary Review *
My favourite book of the year * Financial Times, Christmas round up *