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Harold Pinter's first and only novel, written in the early 1950s before he began writing plays. The novel is set in post-war London's East End, a landscape of bomb-sites, and describes the lives of four young Londoners whose energy and humour lift them above the routine austerity of the time.
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Harold Pinter was born in London in 1930. He lived with Antonia Fraser from 1975 and they married in 1980. In 1995 he won the David Cohen British Literature Prize, awarded for a lifetime's achievement in literature. In 1996 he was given the Laurence Olivier Award for a lifetime's achievement in theatre. In 2002 he was made a Companion of Honour for services to literature. In 2005 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and, in the same year, the Wilfred Owen Award for Poetry and the Franz Kafka Award (Prague). In 2006 he was awarded the Europe Theatre Prize and, in 2007, the highest French honour, the Legion d'honneur. He died in December 2008.From Publishers Weekly:
British playwright Pinter's semi-absurdist novel of stunted lives in 1950s London is a story of friendship, love and betrayal. As in his plays, the characters often talk past one another into an existential void. The precarious equilibrium of a trio of male friends is disrupted when one of them, Pete, falls in love with Virginia. He puts her on a pedestal or, alternately, treats her as a slut or boyish pal. Advising him are Mark, a frustrated actor who blithely accepts that "everything's a calamity," and Len, who escapes his dull job in a train station through abstract mathematics and playing violin to his cat. Written in the early 1950s, Pinter's only novel was the genesis for his play of the same title; revised in 1989, the work is being published for the first time (had it been issued earlier, it would not have made his reputation). As the foursome oscillates between mistrust and communion, the dialogue veers from minimalist chatter to booming Shakespearean eloquence, with an occasional glowing line and lambent lyricism relieving long stretches of soul-searching angst.
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