. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Studs Terkel Program – Christopher Isherwood Interview – April 1977 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.
The prominent novelist Christopher Isherwood is probably best known for his novel Berlin Stories, cited by Time Magazine as one of the best English-language novels of the 20th century. It became the basis for the 1951 play I Am A Camera and later, the musical and film Cabaret.
Before emigrating to Southern California and settling in Santa Monica, Isherwood had lived in Berlin between the years 1929 and 1939 and was witness to the rise of Hitler and Nazism and the devastating changes which took place in Germany just prior to World War 2.
After becoming an American Citizen in 1946, Isherwood became a screenwriter, while continuing to write fiction and became one of the prominent figures in the West Coast writing scene in the late 1940s and 1950s and one of those writers influential in the Beat Generation, along with Paul Bowles, W.H. Auden and several others. Isherwood was also interested in Eastern Philosophy and very instrumental in establishing The Vedanta Society of America.
At the time of this interview, in April 1977, Isherwood had just published his 2nd autobiography Christopher And His Kind, where he gives a reassessment of his career and looks at his time in Berlin just prior to World War 2.
Interviewed by Studs Terkel, Isherwood provides a colorful background and insights to his life in Berlin just prior to the outbreak of World War 2.
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