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Articles of Faith

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Graham Greene (1902-1991) was among the most eminent of British twentieth-century writers, the author of over thirty novels and entertainments as well as many travel books, essays and reviews. Ian Thomson is the author of the acclaimed Bonjour Blanc: A Journey through Haiti (1992) and a biography of Primo Levi, which won the 2002 W. H. Heinemann Prize.


Students of the author's paradoxical religious inclinations - he was an agnostic who went to Mass - will find much to ponder here, while Greene completists won't want to be without this fine nosegay of hard-to-find occasional journalism, a unique context in which to encounter the celebrated left-footer writing left-handed. The Observer Articles of Faith offers fascinating sidelights on Greene's shifting attitudes to the Church into which he was received in 1926. His earliest contributions were entirely literary: on eight occasions between October 1937 and March 1938 he reviewed new novels in clutches of four or five titles. Greene himself was not yet identified as a Catholic writer, and only a few remarks in these reviews reveal his religious preoccupations - when for instance he describes Djuna Barnes' Nightwood as "an exaggerated reaction against the world by someone who has been bitten by faith, but faith gone wild and dangerous with despair". Soon afterwards he published Brighton Rock, a work to which the same words might be applied; and he went on to write three more novels with an explicitly Catholic theological content, culminating in The End of the Affair (1951); books that made him the most celebrated English literary novelist of his generation. David Lodge, The Tablet For Graham Greene fans, Ian Thomson has edited Articles of Faith (Signal GBP12.99), Greene's Tablet journalism, and written a sympathetic, informed introduction. Ronan Bennett, Observer Books of the Year, 2006

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