For more than 30 years, Yvonne Cloetta shared her life with Graham Greene. After years of tormented love affairs and dangerous exploits, the novelist found solace and understanding with this remarkable Frenchwoman, which assuaged his famously melancholic nature yet allowed him to create some of his greatest work. Greene knew that the time might come when Cloetta's privacy would be invaded, and his advice was to either refuse to speak or to tell the truth. This Cloetta has done, most eloquently, with the help of family friends and biographer Marie-Françoise Allain. What emerges is the most intimate and revelatory portrait of Greene that we have.
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Yvonne Cloetta was the longtime companion of Graham Greene. She died in 2001. Marie-Francoise Allain is the author of The Other Man: Conversations with Graham Greene.From Publishers Weekly:
The latest biographic treatment of the famously secretive Greene comes from his third mistress, whom the often depressed novelist dubbed his "Healthy, Happy Kitten." Throughout their 30-year relationship, which she describes as "one long secret," Cloetta kept a diary that Greene not only read, but also corrected and wrote comments in. The frequent quotations from his marginalia buttress Cloetta's careful revelations about the Graham Greene she knew from their first meeting in Cameroon in 1959 to his death in 1991 in Vevey. Although Cloetta reveals few intimate details of their affair, she does divulge the human side of her lover, such as his superstitions, including a fear of the letter C. She also describes Greene secretly taking a minor role in a Truffaut film, dining with Charlie Chaplin on the Côte d'Azur and finally visiting his friend the double-agent Kim Philby in the USSR's twilight. Allain, who interviewed Greene for her book The Other Man, may not have pressed Cloetta (who died in 2001) , but she proves a sympathetic and well-informed interlocutor in this light conversation-memoir. 14 b&w photos.
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