Christopher Isherwood was a diverse writer whose accomplishments included The Mortmere Stories (Edward Upward Series)
, A Single Man
and a translation of The Song of God (Bhagavad Gita)
. But many critics hailed The Berlin Stories
, the reissue of two of his best novels, as his finest. In the book, a man named Christopher Isherwood, who is and is not the author, writes a story of exile, combining the best of Isherwood's real life with the best of the life he imagined.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Collection of two previously published novels written by Christopher Isherwood, published in 1946. Set in pre-World War II Germany, the semiautobiographical work consists of Mr. Norris Changes Trains (1935; U.S. title, The Last of Mr. Norris
) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939). The Berlin Stories
merge fact and fiction and contain ostensibly objective, frequently comic tales of marginal characters who live shabby and tenuous existences as expatriates in Berlin; the threat of the political horrors to come serves as subtext. In Goodbye to Berlin
the character Isherwood uses the phrase "I am a camera with its shutter open" to claim that he is simply a passive recorder of events. The two novels that comprise The Berlin Stories
made Isherwood's literary reputation; they later became the basis for the play I Am a Camera
(1951; film, 1955) and the musical Cabaret
(1966; film, 1972). -- The Merriam-Webster Encylopedia of Literature