The First World War is over. Eric Vernon is on the cusp of adulthood. Tall, bony and awkward he finds himself torn between a desire to emulate his heroic father, who led a life of quiet sacrifice, and resentment toward his father's roguish friend Edward Blake, who survived the war only to throw himself into gay life in Berlin. With subtle wit and trademark irony, Isherwood's second novel evokes a society in flux.
Isherwood's witty first foray into autobiographical fiction recalls the post-war dissolution of traditional English families.
Christopher Isherwood was born in 1904. He began to write at university and later moved to Berlin, where he gave English lessons to support himself. He witnessed first hand the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany and some of his best works, such as Mr. Norris Changes Trains and Goodbye to Berlin, draw on these experiences. He created the character of Sally Bowles, later made famous as the heroine of the musical Cabaret. Isherwood travelled with W.H Auden to China in the late 1930s before going with him to America in 1939. He died on 4 January 1986. His novel A Single Man was recently made into an award-winning film by Tom Ford, starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.