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Graham Greene: A Life in Letters

UK Publisher: Abacus / Little, Brown

One of the undisputed masters of English prose in the twentieth century, Graham Greene (1904–91) wrote tens of thousands of personal letters. This substantial volume presents a new and engrossing account of his life constructed out of his own words.

Meticulously chosen and engagingly annotated, this selection of Greene’s letters, including many to his family and close friends that were unavailable even to his official biographer, gives an entirely new perspective on a life that combined literary achievement, political action, espionage, travel, and romantic entanglement.

The letters describe his travels in Mexico, Africa, Malaya, Vietnam, Haiti, Cuba and other trouble spots, where he observed the struggles of victims and victors with a compassionate and truthful eye.

The book includes a vast number of unpublished letters to Evelyn Waugh, Auberon Waugh, Anthony Powell, Edith Sitwell, R. K. Narayan, Muriel Spark and other leading writers of the time. Some letters reveal the agonies of his romantic life, especially his relations with his wife, Vivien Greene, and with his mistress Catherine Walston.

The sheer range of experience contained in Greene’s correspondence defies comparison.

An award-winning poet, editor and biographer, Richard Greene was born in Newfoundland, educated at Oxford, and is now a professor...