Greene on Capri : a memoir

by Shirley Hazzard

Hardcover, 2000




London ; New York : Virago, 2000.


When friends die, one's own credentials change: one becomes a survivor. Graham Greene has already had biographers, one of whom has served him mightily. Yet I hope that there is room for the remembrance of a friend who knew him - not wisely, perhaps, but fairly well - on an island that was ''not his kind of place,'' but where he came season after season, year after year & where he, too, will be subsumed into the capacious story.' For millennia the cliffs of Capri have sheltered pleasure-seekers & refugees alike, among them the emperors Augustus & Tiberius, Henry James, Rilke & Lenin, plus hosts of artists, eccentrics & outcasts. Here in the 1960s Graham Greene became friends with Shirley Hazzard & her husband, the writer Francis Steegmuller; their friendship lasted until Greene's death in 1991. In GREENE ON CAPRI, Hazzard uses their ever volatile intimacy as a prism through which to illuminate Greene's mercurial character, his work & talk & the extraordinary literary culture that long thrived on this ravishing, enchanted island.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member jwhenderson
I read this during the late summer of 2008 as it was selected by our Thursday evening book group for our return from hiatus in September of that year. We read this alongside Hazzard's short novel, The Bay of Noon. Her portrait of Greene is focused, and in comparison with the earnest but elephantine
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biography by Norman Sherry, is brief and economical. Yet she is able to convey far more in it of the inner man, and the sense it provides of the outer man is more vivid as well. It is a model not merely of memoir but of the writer's craft. We enjoyed the literary portraits and the descriptions of Capri as well. This was an unexpected delight.
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LibraryThing member JayLivernois
A rather obtuse and unpleasant memoir where the author takes pleasure in convoluted descriptions that really say nothing about the subject and everything about smart writing.
LibraryThing member PhilipKinsella
iIf you are interested in Greene then read it. Also good on the history of Capri and the characters who have llived there.



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