The Memorial: Portrait of a Family

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Set in the aftermath of World War I, Christopher Isherwood’s The Memorial is the witty, almost forensic portrayal of the dissolution of a tradition-bound English family. On the cusp of adulthood, the Cambridge student Eric Vernon finds himself torn between his desire to emulate his heroic father, who led a life of quiet sacrifice before dying in the war, and his envy of his father’s roguish friend who survived the war and afterward threw himself into gay life.

Published in 1932, when Isherwood was twenty-eight years old, The Memorial is the novel in which a dazzlingly talented young writer found his literary voice, the book in which Isherwood became Isherwood.

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