cover image Writing Home

Writing Home

Alan Bennett / Author Random House (NY) $25 (417p) ISBN 978-0-

Previously a bestseller in England, this eclectic collection of book reviews, essays and diary excerpts by screenwriter (The Madness of King George) and playwright (Single Spies) Bennett is a delightful blend of wit and intelligence. Bennett's writing career began in 1960, when he collaborated with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Jonathan Miller on the successful satiric review Beyond the Fringe. Diary excerpts from 1980-1990 document other theatrical and cinematic adventures and also describe, with Bennett's typical self-deprecating humor, his experiences in New York (he was mugged on the Lower East Side) and his trip to Russia with other writers. Bennett's social commentary on British politics and his critical articles about poet W.H. Auden, actor John Gielgud and playwright John Osborne are informed and perceptive. Also included is a memoir of his childhood during WWII, when he first became acquainted with books, and a moving account of a woman who lived in a van in front of his home in Camden, a borough of London. Photos. Author tour. (Aug.)