RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 32347789 LA English T1 Writing home A1 Bennett, Alan,, PB Random House PP New York YR 1995 SN 0679444890 9780679444893 AB Writing Home is an eclectic memoir that includes work from Bennett's entire career. Here are selections from his occasional diaries, covering 1980-1990, which have appeared in The London Review of Books, the journal he kept during the production of his first play, Forty Years On, which starred John Gielgud; and accounts of the filming of his television plays. In prefaces, reviews, memorial addresses, and essays, he discusses actors and literary figures such as John Osborne, W.H. Auden, Philip Larkin, and Franz Kafka. And at the center of the book is "The Lady in the Van," the riotously funny and poignant story of an irascible London eccentric, Miss Shepherd, who parked herself in a trailer in Bennett's garden for fifteen years, becoming simultaneously a considerable burden and an important fixture in his life. (One diary entry reads, "I ask her if she would like a cup of coffee. 'Well, I wouldn't want you to go to all that trouble. I'll just have half a cup.'"). Through Writing Home runs Bennett's unmistakable strain of self-effacing, wry humor and his faultless observation of the perils of personal and social interaction - none of it ever less than outstandingly entertaining. Still, as Bennett brings his considerable wit and intelligence to bear on his artistic environs, "Little England," and Thatcherism, he remains his own lead character. He never spares himself the sometimes withering scrutiny to which he subjects everything he encounters, and thus brings us a tantalizing portrait of the public artist and the private man that makes for a memorable and highly rewarding reading experience.