Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Demonstrate how the decline of Germany in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s affected Christopher Isherwood’s literary production.

Discuss the part other writers have played in establishing a deserved reputation for Isherwood.

Was John Van Druten misleading his audience when he titled his play based on Goodbye to Berlin as I Am a Camera?

What are the most valid aspects of Isherwood’s interjection of personal characteristics in his literary characters?

What are the best reasons for denying that Isherwood was an escapist?

What justification can you see in Isherwood’s using family names, such as Bradshaw and even Isherwood, in characterizations of people much more naïve and misled than himself or his family members?


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Berg, James J., and Chris Freeman, eds. The Isherwood Century: Essays on the Life and Work of Christopher Isherwood. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2000. Includes an introduction by the editors and a foreword by Armistead Maupin.

Ferres, Kay. Christopher Isherwood: A World in Evening. San Bernardino, Calif.: Borgo Press, 1994. A critical study. Includes bibliographical references and an index.

Finney, Brian. Christopher Isherwood: A Critical Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. Written with Isherwood’s cooperation; it is based upon Isherwood’s personal papers and interviews with his friends and associates.

Fryer, Jonathan. Eye of the Camera: A Life of Christopher Isherwood. London: Allison & Busby, 1993. A thorough biography. A revision and expansion of his 1978 biography Isherwood.

Funk, Robert W. Christopher Isherwood: A Reference Guide. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1979. A useful bibliography of works on Isherwood.

Izzo, David Garrett. Christopher Isherwood: His Era, His Gang, and the Legacy of the Truly Strong Man. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2001. A comprehensive critical study. Izzo draws on newly available material to offer a fresh appraisal of the writer’s literary milieu and influence.

Lehmann, John. Christopher Isherwood: A Personal Memoir. New York: Henry Holt, 1988. A biography by a friend of Isherwood.

Page, Norman. Auden and Isherwood: The Berlin Years. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998. Discusses the lives of Isherwood and W. H. Auden during this period.

Piazza, Paul. Christopher Isherwood: Myth and Anti-Myth. New York: Columbia University Press, 1978. Takes a psychobiographical approach to analyzing Isherwood’s work.

Schwerdt, Lisa M. Isherwood’s Fiction: The Self and Technique. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989. Discusses Isherwood’s autobiographical fiction.

Summers, Claude J. Christopher Isherwood. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1980. Opens with a short biographical sketch and chronological table and then devotes a chapter to each of Isherwood’s novels.

Wade, Stephen. Christopher Isherwood. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991. From the series Modern Novelists. Includes bibliographical references and an index.

Wilde, Alan. Christopher Isherwood. New York: Twayne, 1971. A scholarly analysis.