Christopher Isherwood settled in California in 1939 and spent the war years writing for Hollywood, but by 1945 he had all but ceased to write fiction and even abandoned his habit of keeping a diary. Instead he embarked on a life of frantic socialising and drinking. Looking back from the 1970s, Isherwood recreated these years from personal memories to form a remarkably honest mixture of private and social history.
Isherwood's account is endearingly honest... a journal not only unusually objective but in parts shockingly frank. You are left feeling you have truly got to know Christopher Isherwood... A welcome supplement to Isherwood's Diaries and provides futher insight into a major literary figure
In Lost Years Isherwood lays bare his mid-life crisis with critical self-candour, never losing his engaging manner nor his sense of humour... His diaries are the basis for all his creative work, and Lost Years is the most revealing so far
Isherwood remains a curious and memorable writer... A master of translucent prose, the events and people of these years seem to be described by a narrator as perceptive as he is unobtrusive
From novels about parenting to making love last, here are some great books to read in your forties.
Katherine Bucknell edited The Animals, a collection of Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy's love letters. She charts the journey to bringing them to life in a podcast starring Simon Callow and Alan Cumming