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Graham Greene,
Author of The Quiet American,
An Espionage Thriller Set in Vietnam in the1950s
Author Graham Greene
Literary Giant Sets Gold Standard for Spy Novels
Henry Graham Greene (1904-1991), acclaimed English author, is well known for his spy novels, often set in the far reaches of the British Empire, and for the moral universe in which his characters struggle: "Graham Greene's novels usually pit morally drifting souls against even worse types, in trying circumstances--it's either too hot, too cold or too wet, and danger is never too far away. Some sort of redemption takes place, then bang--they are obliterated; their lives, loves, crimes and misdemeanors shoveled back into the  box." *

Greene began his writing career as an apprentice journalist and worked in the newspaper business until the publication of his first novel, The Man Within (1929). His interest in espionage and international politics began during World War II when he worked in West Africa as an intelligence agent for the British government. This inspired The Heart of the Matter (1948), which was well received, especially in America.

Greene, who, when he was a teenager, experienced psychoanalysis with a student of Freud's, said of writing: "Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in the human condition."

British author Graham Greene was named Commander of Arts and Letters by French culture minister Jack Lang, in Paris, in 1984.

He received the Companion of Honor award from Queen Elizabeth of England in 1966, and the Order of Merit in 1986.

*Posted by John Moore Thursday 18 September 2008 06.30 EDT
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