OVERRIDE

Greene on Capri

A Memoir

Shirley Hazzard

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

When friends die, one's own credentials change: one becomes a survivor. Graham Greene has already had biographers, one of whom has served him mightily. Yet I hope that there is room for the remembrance of a friend who knew him-not wisely, perhaps, but fairly well-on an island that was "not his kind of place," but where he came season after season, year after year; and where he, too, will be subsumed into the capacious story.

For millennia the cliffs of Capri have sheltered pleasure-seekers and refugees alike, among them the emperors Augustus and Tiberius, Henry James, Rilke, and Lenin, and hosts of artists, eccentrics, and outcasts. Here in the 1960s Graham Greene became friends with Shirley Hazzard and her husband, the writer Francis Steegmuller; their friendship lasted until Greene's death in 1991. In Greene on Capri, Hazzard uses their ever volatile intimacy as a prism through which to illuminate Greene's mercurial character, his work and talk, and the extraordinary literary culture that long thrived on this ravishing, enchanted island.

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ON A DECEMBER MORNING of the late 1960s, I was sitting by the windows of the Gran Caffè in the piazzetta of Capri, doing the crossword in The Times. The weather was wet, as it had been for days, and the looming rock face of the Monte Solaro dark with rain. High seas, and some consequent suspension of the Naples ferry, had interrupted deliveries from the mainland; and the newspaper freshly arrived from London was several days old. In the café, the few other tables were unoccupied. An occasional waterlogged Caprese—workman or shopkeeper—came to take coffee at the counter. There
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REVIEWS

Praise for Greene on Capri

"A model not merely of memoir but of the writer's craft." --Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World

"The "fascinating and irresistible" portrait of a great but difficult man and a legary island."--The New York Times

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Shirley Hazzard

  • Shirley Hazzard's books include The Evening of the Holiday, The Bay of Noon, and The Transit of Venus (winner of the 1981 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction). She lives in New York City, always maintaining her ties with Italy.
  • Shirley Hazzard Copyright Nancy Crampton
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Greene on Capri

A Memoir

Shirley Hazzard

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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