Other books byAlan Bennett
The Uncommon Reader
From one of England's most celebrated writers, the author of the award-winning The History Boys, a funny and superbly observed novella about the Queen of England and the subversive power of reading When her corgis stray into a mobile library parked near Buckingham Palace, the Queen feels duty-bound to borrow a book. Discovering the joy of reading widely (from J. R. Ackerley, Jean Genet, and Ivy Compton-Burnett to the classics) and intelligently, she finds that her view of the world changes dramatically. Abetted in her newfound obsession by Norman, a young man from the royal kitchens, the Queen comes to question the prescribed order of the world and loses patience with the routines of her role as monarch. Her new passion for reading initially alarms the palace staff and soon leads to surprising and very funny consequences for the country at large.
Bringing together the hilarious, revealing, and lucidly intelligent writing of one of England’s best known literary figures, Writing Home includes the journalism, book and theater reviews, and diaries of Alan Bennett, as well as “The Lady in the Van,” his unforgettable account of Miss Shepherd, a London eccentric who lived in a van in Bennett’s garden for more than twenty years. This revised and updated edition includes new material from the author, including more recent diaries and his introduction to his Oscar-nominated screenplay for The Madness of King George. A chronicle of one of the most important literary careers of the twentieth century, Writing Home is a classic history of a life in letters.
The Laying On of Hands
Alan Bennett’s extraordinary ear for dialogue and sharpness of perception have made him a master storyteller. In “Father! Father! Burning Bright” he writes with tragicomic insight about a son’s vigil at his father’s deathbed where their lifelong battle continues to the end. “The Laying on of Hands,” a brilliantly funny satire, describes a society memorial service for a rather special masseur who died tragically young; and in “Miss Fozzard Finds her Feet,” a lonely, unmarried department store clerk discovers there’s more to life than looking after her brother through her only indulgence, her podiatrist.
"[Bennett] does what only the best writers can do--make us look at ourselves in a way we've never done before." --Michael Palin Untold Stories brings together some of the finest and funniest writing by one of England's best-known literary figures. Alan Bennett's first major collection since Writing Home contains previously unpublished work--including the title piece, a poignant memoir of his family and of growing up in Leeds--along with his much celebrated diary for the years 1996 to 2004, and numerous other exceptional essays, reviews, and comic pieces. In this highly anticipated compendium, the Today Book Club author of The Clothes They Stood Up In reveals a great many untold secrets and stories with his inimitable humor and wry honesty--his family's unspoken history, his memories of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and his response to the success of his most recent play, The History Boys. Since the success of Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s, Bennett has delighted audiences worldwide with writing that is, in his words, "no less serious because it is funny." The History Boys opened to great acclaim at the Royal National Theatre in 2004, winning numerous awards, and is scheduled to open in New York City in April 2006.