Stories of Christopher Isherwood

I had never heard of English-American author Christopher Isherwood until the opening of the recent film A Single Man, adapted from Isherwood’s novel. Christopher Isherwood tended to write stories that were at least partially autobiographical. For example, he and George, the main character of A Single Man (played by Colin Firth in an Oscar-worthy performance), were both Englishmen who emigrated to southern California and taught English literature at a large university. George also reflects Isherwood in terms of his mate. Each of them had a long-term relationship with a much younger man. Isherwood’s novel The Memorial was influenced by his own family history, specifically with his mother. His young life in Berlin was mirrored in The Berlin Stories, a pair of novels which became the basis for the film and musical Cabaret.

If you’re interested in a 100% pure biography, check out Chris and Don: A Love Story. This documentary tells the story of Christopher Isherwood and his longtime partner, Don Bachardy. Despite their large age difference, they lived together for more than 30 years.

A Single Man opens at the Michigan Theater this Friday.