The Copenhagen Papers

An Intrigue

Michael Frayn and David Burke

Metropolitan Books

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In a brilliant coda to the play Copenhagen, Michael Frayn receives mysterious letters that take him back to the theme of his bestselling novel, Headlong -- human folly, this time his own.

Michael Frayn's Copenhagen has established itself as one of the finest pieces of drama to grace the stage in recent years. The subject of the Tony-winning play is the strange visit the German nuclear physicist Werner Heisenberg made to his former mentor, scientist Niels Bohr, in Nazi-occupied Copenhagen and the quarrel that ensued. Heisenberg's intentions on that visit, for good or for evil, have long intrigued and baffled historians and scientists. One day, during the British run of Copenhagen, Frayn received a curious package from a suburban housewife, which contained a few faded pages of barely legible German writings. These pages, which she claimed to have found concealed beneath her floorboards, seemed to cast a remarkable new light on the mystery at the heart of play. As more material emerged -- specifically notes that appeared to give instructions on how to put up a table-tennis table but perhaps containing important encoded information -- actor David Burke, who was playing Niels Bohr, began to display extreme, even suspicious interest in Frayn's growing obsession with cracking the riddle of the papers. And Frayn, for his part, lost all sense of certainty. Was he the victim of an elaborate hoax? By turns comic and profound, The Copenhagen Papers explores the conundrum that is always at the heart of Frayn's work -- human gullibility and the eternal difficulty of knowing why we do what we do.

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About the Author

Michael Frayn and David Burke

Michael Frayn is the author of the award-winning Copenhagen and twelve other plays, including Noises Off. The most recent of his nine novels is Headlong, a New York Times Editor's Choice and Booker Prize finalist. He lives in London.

David Burke, an actor, has worked extensively with Britain's National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He played Niels Bohr in the London production of Copenhagen.

Michael Frayn
David Burke

Eamonn McCabe
Michael Frayn

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Copenhagen Papers
An Intrigue
Michael Frayn and David Burke

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
Metropolitan Books
January 2003
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466829435
ISBN10: 1466829435
144 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
January 2003
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312421243
ISBN10: 0312421249
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 144 pages
$16.00
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Metropolitan Books

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