The Living Room
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The illicit affair of a devout woman in London ignites a shattering family crisis in the author's "ruthlessly honest" first play (The Guardian).
In a dour Holland Park house with rooms and secrets long shuttered live three unyielding forces for morality: rigidly religious sisters Helen and Teresa, and their brother, a Roman Catholic priest. Into the lives of this insular trio comes their young grandniece, Rose Pemberton, following the death of her mother. To the mortification of her aunts, Rose has also brought her lover, Michael Dennis, who is twenty-five years Rose's senior, married, and a psychology lecturer dictated by reason, not faith. In a home that reeks of sanctimony, Rose and Michael are as welcome as sin. But it's the arrival of Michael's distraught wife-armed with righteous emotional blackmail and worse-that ignites an unexpected fury and makes real the family's greatest fears.
Premiering in London in 1953 and moving to Broadway one year later, Graham Greene's debut as a dramatist was hailed by Kenneth Tynan as "the best first play of its generation."
Praise for Graham Greene
“The most ingenious, inventive and exciting of our novelists, rich in exactly etched and moving portraits of real human beings . . . A master of storytelling.” —V. S. Pritchett, The Times (London)
“In a class by himself . . . The ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man’s consciousness and anxiety.” —William Golding
“A superb storyteller with a gift for provoking controversy.” —The New York Times
“Greene had the sharpest eyes for trouble, the finest nose for human weaknesses, and was pitilessly honest in his observations. . . . For experience of a whole century he was the man within.” —Norman Sherry, Independent
“No serious writer of [the twentieth] century has more thoroughly invaded and shaped the public imagination than Graham Greene.” —Time
“One of the finest writers of any language.” —The Washington Post
“A superb storyteller—he had a talent for depicting local colour, a keen sense of the dramatic, an eye for dialogue, and skill in pacing his prose.” —The New York Times
“Graham Greene was a profound and experimental stylist.” —Time Out
“Graham Greene had wit and grace and character and story and a transcendent universal compassion that places him for all time in the ranks of world literature.” —John le Carré
“Greene was a force beyond his books.” —Melvyn Bragg
“Greene’s fictional products are to conventional mystery stories what an Alfred Hitchcock exercise in cinematic suspense is to the ordinary Grade B Whodunit.” —Weekly Book Review
“Mr. Greene’s extraordinary power of plot-making, of suspense and of narration . . . moves continuously both in time and space and in emotion.” —The Times (London)
“Graham Greene taught us to understand the social and economic cripples in our midst. He taught us to look at each other with new eyes. I don’t suppose his influence will ever disappear.” —Auberon Waugh, The Independent
“A masterly storyteller . . . An enormously popular writer who was also one of the most significant novelists of his time.” —Newsweek
Graham Greene (1904-1991) is recognized as one of the most important writers of the twentieth century, achieving both literary acclaim and popular success. His best known works include Brighton Rock, The Heart of the Matter, The Quiet American, and The Power and the Glory. After leaving Oxford, Greene first pursued a career in journalism before dedicating himself full-time to writing with his first big success, Stamboul Train. He became involved in screenwriting and wrote adaptations for the cinema as well as original screenplays, the most successful being The Third Man. Religious, moral, and political themes are at the root of much of his work, and throughout his life he traveled to some of the wildest and most volatile parts of the world, which provided settings for his fiction. Greene was a member of the Order of Merit and a Companion of Honour.