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Writing Home
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About the Author

Alan Bennett is a renowned playwright and essayist, whose screenplay for The Madness of King George was nominated for an Academy Award. He is also the author of The Clothes They Stood Up In and Writing Home. He lives in London, England

Reviews

Bennett, the playwright whose works include Forty Years On (1968) and An Englishman Abroad (1983), here brings together reminiscences of family and friends, character sketches of literary figures and famous people (e.g., Sir John Gielgud, John Osborne, Innes Lloyd), extracts from his diaries, and prefaces to some of his better-known plays. Some of the pieces were begun as radio talks for the BBC or published in the London Review of Books. Bennett touches on English society and literary life, the occupational hazards of writing plays, and writing for television vs. writing for the stage. He is an astute, erudite commentator, and there is much to chuckle over, including his thoughts on English eccentricity, rehearsals ("all the chat one has to go through"), and his hilarious experiences of "going round" after a performance. Anglophiles of all stripes will enjoy this book; highly recommended for serious collections in modern British literature and theater.‘Lesley Jorbin, Cleveland State Univ. Lib.

Previously a bestseller in England, this eclectic collection of book reviews, essays and diary excerpts by screenwriter (The Madness of King George) and playwright (Single Spies) Bennett is a delightful blend of wit and intelligence. Bennett's writing career began in 1960, when he collaborated with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Jonathan Miller on the successful satiric review Beyond the Fringe. Diary excerpts from 1980-1990 document other theatrical and cinematic adventures and also describe, with Bennett's typical self-deprecating humor, his experiences in New York (he was mugged on the Lower East Side) and his trip to Russia with other writers. Bennett's social commentary on British politics and his critical articles about poet W.H. Auden, actor John Gielgud and playwright John Osborne are informed and perceptive. Also included is a memoir of his childhood during WWII, when he first became acquainted with books, and a moving account of a woman who lived in a van in front of his home in Camden, a borough of London. Photos. Author tour. (Aug.)

"[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 "A classic performance." --Times Literary Supplement "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 "The book [contains] perhaps the funniest piece ever written about the theater...marvelous, marvelous, marvelous." --The Independent "Irresistibly well written, wry, witty, every sentence a pleasure...Humane, observant, and sharply intelligent." --Sunday Time [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" A classic performance. "Times Literary Supplement" 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" The book [contains] perhaps the funniest piece ever written about the theater...marvelous, marvelous, marvelous. "The Independent" Irresistibly well written, wry, witty, every sentence a pleasure...Humane, observant, and sharply intelligent. "Sunday Time"" "[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" "A classic performance." --"Times Literary Supplement" "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" "" "The book [contains] perhaps the funniest piece ever written about the theater...marvelous, marvelous, marvelous." --"The Independent" "Irresistibly well written, wry, witty, every sentence a pleasure...Humane, observant, and sharply intelligent." --"Sunday Time" "[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" "A classic performance." -"Times Literary Supplement" "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" " " "The book [contains] perhaps the funniest piece ever written about the theater...marvelous, marvelous, marvelous." -"The Independent" "Irresistibly well written, wry, witty, every sentence a pleasure...Humane, observant, and sharply intelligent." -"Sunday Time" " [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" " A classic performance." -- "Times Literary Supplement" " 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" " " " The book [contains] perhaps the funniest piece ever written about the theater...marvelous, marvelous, marvelous." -- "The Independent" " Irresistibly well written, wry, witty, every sentence a pleasure...Humane, observant, and sharply intelligent." -- "Sunday Time"

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