The Unquiet Englishman: A Life of Graham Greene

The Unquiet Englishman: A Life of Graham Greene

by Richard Greene

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Overview

A vivid, deeply researched account of the tumultuous life of one of the twentieth century’s greatest novelists, the author of The End of the Affair.

One of the most celebrated British writers of his generation, Graham Greene’s own story was as strange and compelling as those he told of Pinkie the Mobster, Harry Lime, or the Whisky Priest. A journalist and MI6 officer, Greene sought out the inner narratives of war and politics across the world; he witnessed the Second World War, the Vietnam War, the Mau Mau Rebellion, the rise of Fidel Castro, and the guerrilla wars of Central America. His classic novels, including The Heart of the Matter and The Quiet American, are only pieces of a career that reads like a primer on the twentieth century itself.

The Unquiet Englishman braids the narratives of Greene’s extraordinary life. It portrays a man who was traumatized as an adolescent and later suffered a mental illness that brought him to the point of suicide on several occasions; it tells the story of a restless traveler and unfailing advocate for human rights exploring troubled places around the world, a man who struggled to believe in God and yet found himself described as a great Catholic writer; it reveals a private life in which love almost always ended in ruin, alongside a larger story of politicians, battlefields, and spies. Above all, The Unquiet Englishman shows us a brilliant novelist mastering his craft.

A work of wit, insight, and compassion, this new biography of Graham Greene, the first undertaken in a generation, responds to the many thousands of pages of letters that have recently come to light and to new memoirs by those who knew him best. It deals sensitively with questions of private life, sex, and mental illness, and sheds new light on one of the foremost modern writers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393084320
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 01/12/2021
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 176,012
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Richard Greene is a professor of English at the University of Toronto. He is the author of two books of nonfiction and four volumes of poetry. Also the critically acclaimed editor of Selected Letters of Edith Sitwell and Graham Greene: A Life in Letters, he lives in Toronto, Canada.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

1 The Dog in the Pram 1

2 Flight 13

3 Backwards Day 23

4 The Revolver 30

5 Casual Corpses 36

6 Marriage 46

7 Rats in the Thatch 52

8 The Devil Looks After His Own 63

9 Minty Stepped on Board 73

10 In Zigi's Town 80

11 Raven 91

12 My Worst Film 97

13 Shirley Temple 101

14 Real Brighton 104

15 The Lawless Roads 111

16 Doll 124

17 Bombs and Books 132

18 The House in the Swamp 137

19 The Ministry of Fear 146

20 Canaries and Defectors 149

21 Mrs Montgomery 158

22 Hot Irons 163

23 Mother of Six 167

24 Banned in the Republic of Ireland 173

25 Lime 179

26 A Piece of Grit 187

27 Points of Departure 190

28 Malaya 200

29 Shoulder Flash 204

30 The Cards in his Wallet 209

31 'C' 211

32 The Bell Tower 214

33 Visas 224

34 The Splinter 228

35 Mau Mau 235

36 Dien Bien Phu 241

37 No One Expects the Inquisition 248

38 A Reformed Character 252

39 Accidents Can Always Happen 256

40 Anita 263

41 Our Man on the Potomac 269

42 The Filthiest Book I Have Ever Read 272

43 61/2 Raves 277

44 A Mixture of Petrol and Vodka 284

45 Handshakes and Contracts 288

46 Bombs and Daiquiris 291

47 The Whole Trouble 297

48 Taxidermy Everywhere 301

49 The Separating Sickness 306

50 Alone in a Lift 319

51 Changes 322

52 Death and Taxes 328

53 The End of a Long Rope 335

54 Plastiques 341

55 Masks 343

56 The Real End of the World 351

57 Statues and Pigeons 361

58 The New Life 368

59 Fidel at Night 373

60 Papa Doc Honoured Me 378

61 Morse Code on the Water Pipes 381

62 Behind the Sand Dune 388

63 A House Surrounded by Orange Trees 394

64 No One's Poodle 404

65 Light Bulbs 413

66 About my Best 419

67 Long Spoons 422

68 Effervescence and Vibration 428

69 The Diplomatic Passport 436

70 Storming the Palace 450

71 The Bomb Party 457

72 Three Hostages 462

73 J'Accuse 472

74 I Am the Message 477

75 Better a Bad Man 483

76 Two Faces 488

77 The Late Rounds 497

78 A Sense of Movement 501

Notes 509

Acknowledgements 559

Index 561

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