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Lawrence Durrell - Author

About the Author

Lawrence Durrell was born in 1912 in India. He attended the Jesuit College at Darjeeling and St Edmund's School, Canterbury. His first literary work, The Black Book, appeared in Paris in 1958. His first collection of poems, A Private Country, was published in 1943, followed by the three Island books: Prospero's Cell, Reflections on a Marine Venus, about Rhodes, and Bitter Lemons, his account of life in Cyprus. Durrell's wartime sojourn in Egypt led to his masterpiece The Alexandria Quartet, completed in southern France where he settled permanently in 1957. Between the Quartet and The Avignon Quintet he wrote the two-decker Tunc and Nunquam. His oeuvre includes plays, a book of criticism, translations, travel writing, and humorous stories about the diplomatic corps. Caesar's Vast Ghost, his reflections on the history and culture of Provence, including a late flowering of poems, appeared a few days before his death in Sommières in 1990.

Featured books by Lawrence Durrell

The Alexandria Quartet

The Alexandria Quartet

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/02/2012

July 2012 Guest Editor Barbara Erskine on The Alexandria Quartet... Laurence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet first introduced me to  a literary concept of Egypt but also to the  intricate and  fascinating psychology of exploring  lives within a  tight social group from several  points of view. I found this quite an intense, complex read but it has continued to haunt me. Like Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast  it was about a writer and that was what intrigued me.   The Lovereading view... L.G. Darley attempts to reconcile himself to the end of his affair with the dark, passionate Justine Hosnani - setting alight a beguiling exploration of sexual and political intrigue that the author himself described as 'an investigation of modern love'.   August 2011 Guest Editor Deborah Lawrenson on Laurence Durrell... Lawrence Durrell wrote some of the most sensuous and atmospheric prose of the twentieth century. The Alexandria Quartet  is both sweeping and experimental. For me, his loveliest books are the island memoirs, especially Prospero’s Cell which recalls his years living in Corfu in the 1930s. Evocative, lyrical and more achingly beautiful the more you learn about the man.

eBooks of the Month

Other books by Lawrence Durrell

Prospero's Cell

Prospero's Cell

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/07/2021

Lose yourself in this glorious memoir of the island jewel of Corfu by the king of travel writing and real-life family member of The Durrells in Corfu. 'In its gem-like miniature quality, among the best books ever written.' New York Times In his youth, before he became a celebrated writer and poet, Lawrence Durrell spent four transformative years on the island jewel of Corfu, fascinated by the idyllic natural beauty and blood-stained ancient history within its rocky shores. While his brother Gerald collected animals as a budding naturalist - later fictionalised in My Family and Other Animals and filmed as The Durrells in Corfu - Lawrence fished, drank and befriended the local villagers. After World War II catapulted him back into a turmoiled world, Durrell never forgot the wonders of Corfu. Prospero's Cell is his magical evocation of the blazing Aegean landscape, brimming with memories of the places and people that changed him forever. 'Cannot be bettered ... A classic ... His words still evoke the magical qualities of the island.' Telegraph 'Some writers reinvent their language; others the world. Durrell did both.' Andre Aciman 'Invades the reader's every sense ... Remarkable.' Victoria Hislop 'These days I am admiring and re-admiring Lawrence Durrell.' Elif Shafak 'Our last great garlicky master of the vanishing Mediterranean.' Richard Holmes 'Corfu could not have found a fitter chronicler.' Daily Telegraph 'A charming idyll ... Delightful.' Sunday Times

Sicilian Carousel

Sicilian Carousel

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/07/2021

Lose yourself in this vivid travelogue evoking the historic Mediterranean island of Sicily by the king of travel writing and real-life family member of The Durrells in Corfu. 'A magician.' The Times Despite decades spent poetically chronicling Mediterranean life in Rhodes, Cyprus and Corfu, celebrated travel writer Lawrence Durrell had never set foot on the largest island: Sicily. For years, his friend Martine begged him to visit her on this sun-kissed paradise, but it took her sudden death to finally bring him to its shores - and he is not disappointed. Joining an eccentric tour group, Durrell immerses himself in the island's spectacular archaeological remains, and becomes dizzy with Sicily's rich history: its mysterious myths and meanings. Featuring unpublished poems and illustrated with elegant engravings. Sicilian Carousel is a gem that ranks with Durrell's finest work. 'Readers who have been to Sicily will love this book. Readers who have not been to Sicily will love this book.' Paul Fussell 'Like long letters from a civilized and very funny friend - the prose as luminous as the Mediterranean air he loves.' Time

Reflections on a Marine Venus

Reflections on a Marine Venus

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/07/2021

Lose yourself in this classic travelogue evoking the Greek island of Rhodes after World War II by the king of travel writing and real-life family member of The Durrells in Corfu. 'A magician ... Durrell enchants.' The Times 'A lovely book ... Makes people feel happy ... [So] pleasurable.' Observer 'A poet's intoxication with landscape, a humanist's appetite for history, and an eye for character worthy of a novelist . He excites a longing to leave for Rhodes at once.' Sunday Times World War II is finally over, and after four torturous years serving the Crown in Egypt, Lawerence Durrell seeks peace in the landscapes he has loved ever since his youth in Corfu: Mediterranean islands. He is posted to the Greek island of Rhodes, and from his first dip in the dazzling blue Aegean - which jolts his soul awake for the first time in years - he immerses himself in the rhythms and moods of local life, befriending eccentric villagers and quaffing ouzo as through the war was a distant dream. With his dazzling poet's eye and passion for excavating ancient history, Durrell recaptures the mythic Rhodes of legend, of knights and crusades, that lies beneath its war-ravaged surface. It is a place that you will never forget. 'Our last great garlicky master of the vanishing Mediterranean.' Richard Holmes 'Masterly ... Casts a spell.' Jan Morris 'Incandescent.' Andre Aciman 'Invades the reader's every sense ... Remarkable.' Victoria Hislop 'Like long letters from a civilized and very funny friend - the prose as luminous as the Mediterranean air he loves.' Time

Caesar's Vast Ghost

Caesar's Vast Ghost

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/07/2021

Lose yourself in this classic travelogue evoking the idyllic South of France by the king of travel writing and real-life family member of The Durrells in Corfu. 'Full of stories, landscapes, comedy, history, heresies, animals, food, drink, and songs of the Midi.' Patrick Leigh Fermor 'A richly characteristic bouillabaisse by our last great garlicky master of the vanishing Mediterranean, our old Prospero of the south.' Richard Holmes Provence, Southern France. Celebrated writer and poet Lawrence Durrell made the Midi his home for more than thirty years: and in his final book, he shares his most evocative, dazzling memories of life as a local. A seductive blend of travelogue, poet's notebook, and intimate autobiography, Durrell guides us through the rich layers of human history that lie beneath the region's legendary landscapes. From stories of magic and mythology infusing the rolling vineyards and vivid lavender fields to tales of Roman conquest, bull-worship, and courtly love beneath the wounded blue skies, Caesar's Vast Ghost is a classic memoir to be treasured. 'Casts a spell ... Masterly.' Jan Morris 'A virtuoso.' New York Times

The Revolt of Aphrodite

The Revolt of Aphrodite

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/06/2021

When a genius inventor is seduced by a mysterious firm to create a robot, technology may save him - or be his undoing ... Lose yourself in this dystopian novel by the bestselling author of The Alexandria Quartet. 'A superb craftsman and stylist.' New York Times Felix Charlock is a world-famous inventor. His scientific genius draws him into the web of a sinister multinational corporation called Merlin who recruit him for their own ends. When Felix is married into this wealthy family, 'The Firm' sets him an impossible project, demanding that he reinvents his former lover as a living, breathing replica. But creating this perfect robot facsimile heralds a new era of destruction, threatening not only Felix's sanity, but his very existence ... Consisting of two novels - Tunc and its sequel, Numquam - The Revolt of Aphrodite is a dystopian novel of ideas, rich in mystery and drama, with an epic global sweep and dazzling cast. Showing literary master Lawrence Durrell at his most conceptually ambitious, this tale of a modern Frankenstein will revolutionise the way you view technology forever. 'Scenes of wild and deliberate fantasy ... [of] peculiar and disturbing poignancy.' New Statesman 'Such readability ... Few writers can tell a story better.' Observer

The Black Book

The Black Book

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/06/2021

'The most exhilarating surge of language, style and sordid English manners [in] literature.' DBC Pierre 'A wild, passionate, brilliantly gaudy and flamboyant extravaganza ... Richly obscene, energetically morbid, very often very funny ... Above all, stylistically and verbally inventive.' Observer Death Gregory has disappeared, abandoning his diaries in a seedy London hotel. Discovered by Lawrence Lucifer, they depict a clique of intellectuals living a life of squalid debauchery: struggling writers and artists consumed by loves, lusts, and a quest for innovation. But as they satisfy violent appetites of the flesh - and mind - their descent into darkness accelerates ... Written when he was only 24, Lawrence Durrell described his controversial third novel as 'a two-fisted attack on literature by an angry young man of the thirties' in which he 'first heard the sound of my own voice.' First published in Paris in 1938, it was banned in Britain for nearly four decades due to its 'obscenity' (influenced by Durrell's friend Henry Miller). Vivid, surrealist, and haunting, The Black Book peers into the recesses of our souls: and establishes Durrell as a trailblazing stylist. 'Stygian prose ... Words like stones, throwing, rockerying, mossing, churning, sharpening, bloodsucking, melting, and a hard firewater flows and rolls through them.' Dylan Thomas 'Genuine art ... Lavishly displays Durrell's gift of language ... Verbal brilliance.' New York Times 'The first piece of work by a new English writer to give me any hope for the future of prose fiction.' T.S. Eliot 'Durrell's first major work ... Its showy brilliance is certainly that of a born writer ... Savage and obscene.'Guardian 'Brilliantly strange ... It will astonish.' Independent on Sunday

White Eagles Over Serbia

White Eagles Over Serbia

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/06/2021

Lose yourself in this classic 1950s Cold War spy thriller tracking a British secret agent in Communist Serbia by the celebrated author of The Alexandria Quartet. 'A spell-binder ... A desperately exciting book.' (Daily Telegraph) 'Exceptionally well written and guaranteed [to] bring back memories of boyhood classics.' (Sunday Times) 'Vivid ... Beautiful descriptions ... Carries us expertly from one excitement to another.' (Punch) Colonel Methuen is a seasoned British secret agent, weary of espionage missions and desperately in need of a break - but he can't resist an assignment to investigate dirty dealings in the Balkans. A fellow British spy has been murdered in the remote mountains of Serbia by a guerrilla gang of underground royalists, the White Eagles - but when Methuen arrives, he soon finds himself in a life-and-death struggle, pursued by both the royalists and Communists alike ... Inspired by Lawrence Durrell's experiences in the British Foreign Office, White Eagles Over Serbia is a classic Cold War espionage thriller: a white-knuckle adventure perfect for fans of John le Carre and Graham Greene.

The Dark Labyrinth

The Dark Labyrinth

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/06/2021

Lose yourself in bestselling author Lawrence Durrell's sublime novel about a group of English tourists trapped in the minotaur's labyrinth on Crete ... 'Spellbinding ... A fine storyteller.' Guardian 'Superb ... Quite simply a lovely work of art.' New York Times A group of English tourists have come ashore from their cruise ship to explore the island of Crete. This motley crew - including a painter, spiritualist, spinster, soldier, convalescent, and elderly couple - are holidaying to seek respite from a broken post-war world. But their journey reaches a disastrous climax when they visit a cave reputed to be the legendary labyrinth of the minotaur, and become trapped within ... Set in the glorious Mediterranean landscapes which Lawrence Durrell so famously evoked in his travel writing and novels, The Dark Labyrinth is a morality tale unlike any other. Artfully blending horror and humour, comedy and tragedy, witty allegory and profound philosophy, it is a sublime novel, as refreshing today as it was decades ago. 'Superb, not only in the great passages of poetical description but also [the] casual wit and the brilliance of comment.' Observer 'Will amuse those who enjoy satires on English manners and morals, engage readers who like a build-up of suspense and delight lovers of the sensuous world of the Greek islands.' New York Times

The fruitful discontent of the word

The fruitful discontent of the word

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/05/2018

The fruitful discontent of the word by Lawrence Durrell

Spirit of Place

Spirit of Place

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2017

Spirit of Place by Lawrence Durrell

Judith

Judith

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/11/2012

A breathtaking novel of passion and politics, set in the hotbed of Palestine in the 1940s, by a master of twentieth-century fiction It is the eve of Britain's withdrawal from Palestine in 1948, a moment that will mark the beginning of a new Israel. But the course of history is uncertain, and Israel's territorial enemies plan to smother the new country at its birth. Judith Roth has escaped the concentration camps in Germany only to be plunged into the new conflict, one with stakes just as high for her as they are for her people. Initially conceived as a screenplay for the 1966 film starring Sophia Loren, Lawrence Durrell's previously unpublished novel offers a thrilling portrayal of a place and time when ancient history crashed against the fragile bulwarks of the modernizing world. This ebook features an introduction by editor Richard Pine, which puts Judith in context with Durrell's body of work and traces the fascinating development of the novel. Also included is an illustrated biography of Lawrence Durrell containing rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author's estate and the British Library's modern manuscripts collection.

Judith

Judith

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Ebook Release Date: 13/11/2012

A breathtaking novel of passion and politics, set in the hotbed of Palestine in the 1940s, by a master of twentieth-century fictionIt is the eve of Britain's withdrawal from Palestine in 1948, a moment that will mark the beginning of a new Israel. But the course of history is uncertain, and Israel's territorial enemies plan to smother the new country at its birth. Judith Roth has escaped the concentration camps in Germany only to be plunged into the new conflict, one with stakes just as high for her as they are for her people.Initially conceived as a screenplay for the 1966 film starring Sophia Loren, Lawrence Durrell's previously unpublished novel offers a thrilling portrayal of a place and time when ancient history crashed against the fragile bulwarks of the modernizing world.This ebook features an introduction by editor Richard Pine, which puts Judith in context with Durrell's body of work and traces the fascinating development of the novel. Also included is an illustrated biography of Lawrence Durrell containing rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author's estate and the British Library's modern manuscripts collection.

Justine

Justine

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Ebook Release Date: 12/06/2012

The acclaimed first novel of the Alexandria Quartet, and the celebrated story of an all-consuming love transcending time and placeSet in Alexandria, Egypt, in the years between World Wars I and II, Justine is the first installment in the distinguished Alexandria Quartet. Here Lawrence Durrell crafts an exquisite and challenging modern novel that explores tragic love and the fluidity of recollection. Employing a fluctuating narrative and poetic prose, Durrell recounts his unnamed narrator's all-encompassing romance with the intoxicating Justine. The result is a matchless work that confronts all we understand and believe about sexual desire, identity, place, and the certainty of time.This ebook contains a new introduction by Jan Morris.

Balthazar

Balthazar

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Ebook Release Date: 12/06/2012

The deeply affecting second novel of theAlexandria Quartet, which boldly questions perception and the nature of contemporary loveIn Alexandria, Egypt, in the years before World War II, Durrell's narrator, Darley, seeks to fully understand his sexual obsession with two women: the infamous Justine, and Melissa, a dancer. In Darley's conversations with Balthazar, a doctor and mystic, it soon becomes clear that Darley's fixation is more complex and ominous than either man could have imagined. Layered and unflinching, Balthazar is a poignant examination of the modern psyche, and a study of a world where love can become consumed by deceit. This ebook contains a new introduction by Jan Morris.

Mountolive

Mountolive

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Ebook Release Date: 12/06/2012

The astounding third offering in Durrell's Alexandria Quartet, a richly detailed and extraordinary expansion of the events of Justine and BalthazarDavid Mountolive is a British diplomat who views love as just another everyday transaction. But as romance turns to betrayal and secret alliances are exposed, Mountolive's affair will bring the true complexity of contemporary love to the forefront amid the swirling political climate of Alexandria.Continuing to push beyond the limits of the traditional novel, Lawrence Durrell maintains his unwavering focus in Mountolive. He recasts the romantic affairs and liaisons he so skillfully established in Justine and Balthazar through the eyes of the young Mountolive, building toward the series' stunning conclusion. This ebook contains a new introduction by Jan Morris.

Clea

Clea

Author: Lawrence Durrell Format: Ebook Release Date: 12/06/2012

The final installment of the Alexandria Quartet, hailed by the New York Times Book Review as ';one of the most important works of our time'Years after his liaisons with Justine and Melissa, Darley becomes immersed in a relationship with Clea, a bisexual artist. The ensuing chain of events transforms not only the lovers, but the dead as well, and leads to the series' brilliant and unexpected resolution. Praised by Life as among the ';most discussed and widely admired serious fiction of our time,' Clea carries on Durrell's assured and unwavering style, and confirms the series' standing as a resounding masterpiece of twentieth-century fiction.This ebook contains a new introduction by Jan Morris.

Author Info

Author's Website

http://www.lawrencedurrell.org/bio.htm

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