Samuel Beckett was one of the towering figures of twentieth-century literature; he was also famously reclusive. Here, in these intimate interviews conducted by his biographer, James Knowlson, Beckett and his family, friends and contemporaries reveal more of the human side of the writer than we have ever seen before. In the first part of the book Beckett talks about his family, his early youth, his friendship with James Joyce and his Resistance work in Paris during the war, when he was forced to flee from the Gestapo and live out the remaining war years in the Vaucluse region of Southern France. In the second part, some of Beckett's closest friends remember him as a schoolboy, as a struggling writer, and then as an international success in the 1950s with his novels and plays, including the world-famous Waiting For Godot. Among the contributors are actors he worked with, including Billie Whitelaw, Brenda Bruce and Jean Martin, and writers who felt the impact of his achievement, including Edward Albee, Paul Auster, J. M. Coetzee and Aiden Higgins. Beautifully designed and illustrated throughout, the book contains wonderful insights into Beckett's world.
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(234mm x 153mm x 31mm)
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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Author Biography - Elizabeth Knowlson
James Knowlson is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Reading where he founded the Beckett Archive (now the Beckett International Foundation). He was a friend of Samuel Beckett for twenty years and is his authorised biographer, publishing Damned to Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett with Bloomsbury in 1996. He has written or edited many other books and essays on Beckett and modern drama, including most recently Images of Beckett with theatre photographer John Haynes. Dr Elizabeth Knowlson lectured in French at the University of Glasgow from 1961 to 1969. After having three children, she resumed her university career as an administrator at the Centre for Applied Language Studies in the University of Reading, before leaving her post to assist her husband with his biography of Beckett and his later books and essays.