BOOKS & SCHOLARSHIP
I have been in a twenty-year relationship with Anglo-American author Christopher Isherwood.
ISHERWOOD ON WRITING, THE COMPLETE LECTURES IN CALIFORNIA
University of Minnesota Press, 2022 (forthcoming)
“Isherwood on Writing brings home how profoundly a spiritual exercise writing was to Isherwood, and how joyful a one.” —The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide
In the 1960s, Christopher Isherwood gave a series of lectures at California universities. During this time Isherwood, who would liberate the memoir and become the founding father of modern gay writing, spoke openly for the first time about his craft—on writing for film, theater, and novels—and on spirituality. Isherwood on Writing brings these public addresses together to reveal a distinctly—and surprisingly—American Isherwood.
This updated edition contains for the first time the long-lost conclusion to the second lecture, which includes a discussion of A Single Man, his greatest, and A Meeting by the River, his final novel.
Edited with an introduction by James J. Berg
Preface by Claude Summers
Christopher Isherwood’s two cycles of lectures about literature will be of interest to writers everywhere. He tells us how to write with realistic detail and moral engagement—and an almost godlike compassion.
Edmund White, author of A Boy’s Own Story
ISHERWOOD IN TRANSIT
21st Century Perspectives
Isherwood in Transit considers the writer not as an English, continental, or American writer but as a transnational one, whose identity, politics, and beliefs were constantly transformed by global connections and engagements arising from journeys to Germany, Japan, China, and Argentina; his migration to the United States; and his conversion to Vedanta Hinduism in the 1940s.
Approaching Isherwood’s rootlessness and restlessness from various perspectives, these essays show that long after he made a new home in California and became an American citizen, Christopher Isherwood remained unsettled, although his wanderings became spiritual and personal rather than geographic.
University of Minnesota Press, 2020.
THE AMERICAN ISHERWOOD
University of Minnesota Press, 2014
This collection of essays considers Christopher Isherwood’s diaries, his vast personal archive, and his published works, offering a multifaceted appreciation of a writer who spent more than half of his life in southern California.
As editors, Chris Freeman and I have brought together the most informative scholarship of the twenty-first century to illuminate the craft of one of the singular figures of the twentieth century.
"Stephen McCauley’s introduction to The American Isherwood, a new collection of critical essays about the renowned author of the Goodbye Berlin, cites Richard Avedon’s definition of charm as “the ability to be truly interested in other people.” Isherwood definitely had it, and so does this thoughtful collection.
A Paris Review staff pick, March 20, 2015
LOVE, WEST HOLLYWOOD
Alyson Publications, 2008
The story of Los Angeles’ gay history is often overshadowed by the mystique of Hollywood, as well as the notion that the gay community was centered in the City by the Bay or the Big Apple. Now, Los Angeles’ rich literary and cultural heritage is revealed in these thoughtful, humorous, and insightful essays.
Love, West Hollywood: Reflections of Los Angeles is a passionate and groundbreaking collection of literary love letters honoring one of America’s most magical and magnetic metropolises. Over 30 gifted writers lead readers through doors closed long ago and a lyrical history that has been lost to the ages–until now.
CONVERSATIONS WITH CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD
University Press of Mississippi, 2001
The interviews in this volume--two of which have never before been published--stretch over a period of forty years. They address a wide range of topics, including the importance of diary-keeping to his life and work; the interplay between fiction and autobiography; his turning from Christianity to Hinduism; his circle of friends, including W. H. Auden, Aldous Huxley, and E. M. Forster; several important places in his life--Berlin, England, and California; and his homosexual identity. These interviews are substantive, smart, and insightful, allowing the author to discuss his approach to writing of both fiction and nonfiction.
"More and more," he explains, "writing is appearing to me as a kind of self-analysis, a finding-out of something about myself and about the past and about what life is like, as far as I'm concerned: who I am, who these people are, what it's all about." This emphasis on self-discovery comes as no surprise from a writer who mined his own diaries and experiences for inspiration. As an interviewee, Isherwood is introspective, thoughtful, and humorous.
THE ISHERWOOD CENTURY
University of Wisconsin Press, 2000
Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Studies, 2000.
"The starting point for any consideration of Isherwood, his work, and his contribution to gay and lesbian arts and letters."—James Mandrell, Brandeis University
Christopher Isherwood has always been considered both a literary and a gay pioneer. Through twenty-four essays and interviews, The Isherwood Century offers a fresh, in-depth view of the author, his literary legacy, and his continuing influence. In The Isherwood Century, editors James J. Berg and Chris Freeman have gathered twenty-four essays and interviews on Christopher Isherwood's life and work. The volume, the first of its kind on Isherwood, offers a fresh, in-depth view of the author, his literary legacy, and his continuing influence.
"The Isherwood Century allows us to see [Isherwood’s] long and colorful life as an expression of the freedom to reinvent oneself."—Los Angeles Times
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