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Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell Read the opening extract of the brand new Lisa Jewell book before its publication on 27/07/2017

Writing Home by Alan Bennett

Writing Home

RRP £12.99

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. This superlative collection of autobiographical writings includes ‘The Lady in the Van’, prefaces to some of Bennett’s plays (a far more lively section than it sounds), extracts from his diaries of 1980-1995, thoughts on books and writers, and some miscellaneous writings that really defy categorization. It is a broad spectrum, but one that is consolidated by Bennett’s incisive wit and unique ear for dialogue. Not just a barrel of laughs (although there is more than enough to amuse here), Bennett’s skill is his capacity to introduce pathos at any moment while avoiding mawkishness. For instance, his thoughts on the development – or rather lack of development – of Britain are stimulating, well expressed and not over-political. Not far away are hilarious reminiscences, where the ‘name-dropping’ is surprising, understated and very effective. Although we learn that Bennett is ‘much more gregarious than I like to think’ there is much more about him that is shrouded in mystery despite the autobiographical tag under which these writings are collected. Sheer delight from start to finish.


Writing Home by Alan Bennett

Already a bestseller, this is a wonderfully entertaining collection of Alan Bennett's prose writings. Writing Home brings together diaries, reminiscences and reviews to give us a unique and unforgettable portrait of one of England's leading playwrights. As a memoir it covers the production of his very first play, Forty Years On, which starred John Gieldgud, as well as many other important productions. His television series 'Talking Heads' has become a modern-day classic; as part of the 1960s revue 'Beyond the Fringe' Bennett helped to kick-start the English satire revolution, and has since remained one of our leading dramatists, most recently with The History Boys at the National Theatre. At the heart of the book is The Lady in The Van, since adapted into a radio play featuring Dame Maggie Smith. It is the true account of Miss Mary Shepherd, a homeless tramp who took up residence in Bennett's garden and stayed for fifteen years. This new edition also includes Bennett's introduction to his Oscar-nominated screenplay for The Madness of King George and his more recent diaries.

About the Author

Alan Bennett

Alan Bennett has been one of our leading dramatists since the success of Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s. His television series Talking Heads has become a modern-day classic, as have many of his works for the stage, including Forty Years On, The Lady in the Van, A Question of Attribution, The Madness of George III (together with the Oscar-nominated screenplay The Madness of King George) and an adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. His most recent play, The History Boys, won Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle awards for Best Play, The Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play and the South Bank Award.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th September 2014


Alan Bennett

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Faber & Faber


656 pages


Literary essays



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