Today in Literary History – October 2, 1904 – the birth of Graham Greene

The British novelist Graham Greene was born on October 2, 1904. He is often considered to be a “Catholic writer” (although he didn’t like that label) because his books usually hinge on questions of guilt, sin and possible redemption.

He was interested in morality and personal responsibility and usually explored them in stories that displayed their absence.

He wrote serious and complex novels like Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory, The Heart of the Matter and The End of the Affair. He also wrote novels that he called “entertainments” that were widely popular bestsellers.

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I actually prefer the entertainments, books like The Quiet American, A Burnt Out Case, The Honorary Consul and Our Man in Havana. To me, they are morally complicated enough and and their tortured characters are always believable. Greene died in 1991 at the age of 86.

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