ISHERWOOD, Christopher

ISHERWOOD, Christopher. High Lane, Cheshire 26.8.1904 — Santa Monica, Calif. 4.1.1986 (when 81). British Author in the U.S.A., interested in Indian philosophy (Vedānta). U.S. citizen 1946. Son of an officer (d. in WW I), educated at St. Edmund’s School in Hindhead, Surrey, where he met W. H. Auden as his classmate and future friend. Studies at Corpus Christi, Cambridge, but left 1925 without degree. In 1928-33 he lived in Germany teaching English, left because of Hitler. In 1933-37 travelled in Europe. After a visit to China in 1938 he went to the U.S.A. in 1939 and settled down in California. In 1946-47 travelled in South America. In the 1950s and 1960s lectured as a Guest Professor in several Californian universities. As an author Isherwood was mainly a noted prosaists, but wrote also dramas (often in collaboration with W. H. Auden) and later film scripts. In the U.S.A. he became soon interested in Neo-Vedānta (under Swami Prabhavananda) and in later years his own books, too, mainly dealt with individual’s discovery of himself.

Publications: Mr. Norris Changes Trains / The  Last of Mr. Norris. 280 p. L. & N.Y. 1935; Goodbye to Berlin. 317 p. L. 1939; and other novels.

Autobiographical: Lions and Shadows. 312 p. L. 1938; Kathleen and Frank. 510 p. N.Y. & L. 1971.

Translated with Swami Prabhavananda: Bhagavad-Gita: The Song of God. 187 p. Hollywood 1944 & L. 1947; Shankara’s Crest-Jewel of Discrimination (Viveka-chudamani). 149 p. Hollywood 1947; How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Patañjali. N.Y. & L. 1953.

Travel-books: Journey to a War. 289 p. N.Y. & L.1939 (on China, with W. H. Auden); etc.

Edited: Vedanta and the Western World. Hollywood 1946 & L. 1948; Vedanta for Modern Man. 410 p. Hollywood 1951 & L. 1952.

An Approach to Vedanta. 72 p. Hollywood 1963; Essentials of Vedanta. Hollywood 1969.

Ramakrishna and his disciples. 348 p. 32 fig. L. 1965.

My Guru and His Disciple. 338 p. N.Y. 1980.

Sources: E. Borklund, Contemporary Novelists. 2nd ed. Don Mills, Ontario 1976; Wikipedia with two photos and further references.

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