The chief benefit of giving up reviewing gay books is that I’ve had the time to begin catching up on my other reading list. One project over the past month was immersing myself in Christopher Isherwood. I began reading his 600-page diaries covering 1960 thru 1969, and every two hundred pages I stopped to read one of his novels, A Single Man, A Meeting by the River, and The Berlin Stories.
Reading his diaries that he wrote while writing A Single Man and A Meeting by the River gave me an interesting take on those novels, knowing events that influenced him while writing those wonderful stories. I have two more Isherwood books on my list to read before moving on to another author: Christopher and His Kind and Isherwood on Writing.
Isherwood has written several other novels and diaries, and I may come back to him at some point, but I’m now anxious to immerse myself in another writer. My next project will most likely be Capote, and then perhaps I’ll tackle Proust or Steinbeck or Hollinghurst. So many fine writers to choose from.