A Single Man

  • Type: Books
  • By: Christopher Isherwood
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: General Fiction
  • Recommended by: Morgan D.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780816638628
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A protest novel as powerful as any I’ve read, and a spare meditation on aging and loss.

A Single Man is a short book that takes place in a single day. George, the protagonist, is a gay Englishman in late middle age, living and teaching in California in 1962 and mourning the sudden death of his longtime lover, Jim. It’s a seemingly normal day: George commutes into work, teaches a class, goes to the gym, visits an old friend, goes to the bar and has a drink with a student. But under his placid surface is a momentous grief, and a terrible rage against the inhumanity he sees in the world. This is a protest novel as powerful as any I’ve read, and a spare meditation on aging and loss. It was made into a film starring Colin Firth, whom I love, and it’s a testament to the power of Isherwood’s writing that I have no desire at all to see the movie: George’s voice in my head is everything I need it to be.