The Birdcage

John Bowen
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ISBN 9780571241859 Format Paperback
Published 29/05/2008 Length 208 pages

About Book

In John Bowen's The Birdcage Peter Ash and Norah Palmer have been living together for nine years. Having never seen the point in getting married they are the epitome of a modern successful career-oriented couple; Peter is the compere for a series of 'art' films and Norah is the Script Editor for the Drama Department of a commercial television company. Why then when holidaying in Venice does Peter decide to break up their long-lasting relationship? What happens to their order and sense of self when he succeeds?

By turns wildly funny and frightening The Birdcage is a novel about the end of a love affair, the repercussions and the emotional fallout. A host of brilliantly created characters people the book, including Bunty Bates the policewoman, and Edward Laverick, a playwright who finds himself the object of a hunt.

Bowen creates a world that his readers can relate to and analyses the social and psychological end of a relationship. At times comical and tragic The Birdcage remains an original and exciting novel 44 years after its first publication in 1964.

  • About John Bowen

    John Bowen was born in India, sent "home" to England at the age of four and a half, and was reared by aunts. He served in the Indian Army from 1943-47, then went to Oxford to read Modern History. After graduating he spent a year in the USA as a Fulbright Scholar, much of it hitch-hiking. He worked for a while in glossy journalism, then in advertising, before turning freelance when the BBC commissioned a six-part adventure-serial for Children`s Television. Between 1956 and 1965 he published six novels to excellent reviews and modest sales, then forsook the novel for nineteen years to concentrate on writing television drama (Heil Caesar: Robin Redbreast) and plays for the stage (After the Rain: Little Boxes: The Disorderly Women). He returned to writing novels in 1984 with The McGuffin: there were four more thereafter. Reviewers have likened his prose to that of Proust and P. G. Wodehouse, of E. M. Forster and the young John Buchan: it may be fair to say that he resists compartmentalisation. He has worked as a television producer for both the BBC and ITV, directed plays at Hampstead and Pitlochry and taught at the London Academy of Dramatic Art. He lives in a house on a hill among fields between Banbury and Stratford-on-Avon.

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