Various Voices: Prose, Poetry, Politics

Harold Pinter, Author Grove/Atlantic $23 (208p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1643-7
Collecting many pieces previously unavailable stateside, this notable book finally gives the U.S. reader Pinter in the round--as playwright, poet, rebel, iconoclast, fiction writer, political activist and visionary. It's a motley anthology, including everything from interviews, speeches, pieces on cricket and manifestoes to a reminiscence of Samuel Beckett, an appreciation of Shakespeare and shoptalk on writing for stage and screen. And yet for every ephemeral selection, there are at least two of substance. The 10 short stories, most two pages in length, expose the mechanized rigidity of conventional lives with the same subversive humor, surreal leaps and compressed dramatic power that one finds in plays like The Birthday Party and The Homecoming. In his forceful political essays, Pinter, an unapologetic leftist, defends the Sandinista revolution as a progressive democratic movement, condemns Israel's treatment of Palestinians and the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. He blames the Thatcher regime for unleashing an avalanche of greed and corruption, and blasts British prime minister Tony Blair for restricting civil liberties and for cozying up to U.S. imperialism. The welcome gathering of 54 poems ranges from expressionistic lyrics to trenchant political verse. Mysterious, brooding, pregnant with open-ended metaphors, his poems grapple with death, love, loss, war, aging, the search for meaning; they sob for the absence of the sacred in a profane world. This valuable roundup exposes facets of the great playwright that will be unfamiliar to most American readers. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1999
Release date: 04/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 246 pages - 978-0-8021-3824-8
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-571-24480-5
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-571-19728-6
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-0-571-19576-3
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-571-30136-2
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