The first volume of Christopher Bigsby's award-winning biography of Arthur Miller was hailed as a masterpiece and the definitive account of Miller's early years. Here, now, is the second half of Miller's captivating story, taking the story from 1962 to his death in 2005. In 1962, Miller's legacy was incomplete. Ahead lay eighteen plays, five films, a novella and a handful of stories. On a personal level, 1962 saw the death of his second wife, the iconographic Marilyn Monroe, and his marriage to the Magnum photographer Inge Morath who was to transform him as a writer and a person. A visit to Mauthaussen concentration camp and to the Frankfurt trials of Auschwitz-Birkenau guards moved the Holocaust to the centre of his attention. He became a more directly political person, and met such statesmen as Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro. In terms of his writing, one of the paradoxes of the last thirty years of his life was the fact that many American critics treated him with some suspicion, and even disdain, at the very moment his new work was being hailed internationally. This volume explores some of the reasons for the divergent views of a writer who not only captured a changing America but helped to change it. Christopher Bigsby brilliantly and elegantly maps out the journey of Miller's life and work. Shedding new light on Miller's complexities, and revealing unknown facts about his public and private life, Bigsby shares new insights and perspectives crucial to an understanding of one of the world's greatest playwrights.
'Bigsby's landmark biography...draws on many hours of conversation with Miller and a substantial archive of unpublished work...it is rich, authoritative, deeply thought, widely informed and responsive to the power and dignity of Miller's art. It will not be superseded.' -- John Carey THE SUNDAY TIMES 'This second half of Christopher Bigsby's masterly and illuminating biography has all the virtues of the first. Rich in compelling detail, comprehensive in its coverage of his subject's private and public life, it tells Miller's tale with a fine narrative sweep and a sure grasp of the changing political background...superb testament to a great playwright and a fascinating human being' THE SPECTATOR 'a world statesman on equal terms with iconic figures such as Mandela, Gorbachev and Castro. Miller's life and work have become a metaphor for the 20th century. There will be other biographies, but Bigsby's will stand as the foundation stone' THE TIMES 'Together, both volumes of Bigsby's biography cement Miller's status, in Britain at least if not America, probably best described by the British director David Thacker, with whom Miller collaborated: "A little lower than Shakespeare and a little higher than God."' JEWISH CHRONICLE 'Arthur Miller, 1915-1962, the first volume of Bigsby's biography of the writer, was remarkable because it cast new light on those long-familiar aspects of his life. In contrast this second volume is important because it demands that we stop neglecting his many achievements after 1962. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of a man who was certainly flawed but whose attempt to find common ground between art and activism was astonishingly courageous.' IRISH TIMES 'This is the second instalment in Bigsby's biography of Miller. Running to 520 pages (excluding notes and index) it takes up just after his split with Monroe, as he begins his much more stable and lasting relationship with Morath. Bigsby's research is thorough and he has crafted the book with care' IRISH INDEPENDENT 'The most touching sections of Bigsby's book concern Miller's life on his estate in Connecticut, where he planted trees, cut grass for hay, drove a tractor, made furniture for the house, and even attempted in vain to invent a bird feeder that would outwit the foraging local squirrels.' THE OBSERVER 'Christopher Bigsby's well-written and very readable biography...does an excellent job of locating Miller within his intellectual and political context...provides a stimulating dimension to Miller criticism beyond the sycophancy with which a new Miller production is often received, particularly in this country...Christopher Bigsby's book is a welcome addition to our understanding of Miller the man, the playwright and the intellectual.' LITERARY REVIEW 'readers can now delight in the second volume of Arthur Miller scholar Christopher Bigsby's biography...Bigsby's first volume was as invaluable as it was readable; this second will not disappoint...Bigsby writes with care, affection and admirable detachment about an author who was also a friend...Miller lived for 89 years; he wrote for most of them. He changed the theatre, which is more than most playwrights...He probably saved more than a few lives. Best of all, he lived a great love story.' FINANCIAL TIMES
About Christopher Bigsby
Christopher Bigsby is Professor of American Studies at the University of East Anglia, and is Director of the Arthur Miller Centre there.
Arthur Miller: 1962-2005 by Christopher Bigsby
Used - Very Good
Orion Publishing Co
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