The Life of Graham Greene

The Life of Graham Greene

Volume I: 1904-1939

Written by:

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780142004203
  • 816 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


Graham Greene was one of the most guarded and complex literary figures of our time. In the first volume of Norman Sherry’s celebrated biography, Greene’s early life is explored through letters, diaries, and hundreds of interviews, including a breakdown in his early teens, his years at Oxford, and, most particularly, his long and tortuous courtship of his future wife. Sherry uncovers the origins of Greene’s literary preoccupations, as well as reasons for his conversion to Roman Catholicism. Greene’s development as a novelist, from the early success of The Man Within to his masterpiece, The Power and the Glory, is also explored in full, as Sherry literally follows Greene’s footsteps to West Africa and Mexico, penetrating the strange and emotional territory that Greene made into his own.


“If you care about modern literature, and the prickly, committed writer … if you care about God or England or the political twentieth century, you will need this biography.” —Chicago Sun-Times

“Sherry has accomplished his task by virtually reliving Greene’s life, traveling himself to the out-of-the-way places that Greene visited . . . interviewing an army of Old Boys and colonial hands, digging into improbable archives, gathering everything together . . . Extraordinarily well-constructed.” —Samuel Hynes, The Times Literary Supplement

“Rich with fascinating, dramatic detail … Greene’s prodigious energies and inspirations are well matched by Norman Sherry’s intelligence, sympathy, and powers of analysis.” —Joyce Carol Oates