Christopher Isherwood (1904–1986) was one of the most celebrated writers of his generation. Born in Cheshire, England, he left Cambridge without graduating, and went to Berlin (‘Berlin meant Boys’) where he wrote Goodbye to Berlin on which the musical Cabaret was based. He emigrated to America with W.H. Auden in 1939; whilst Wystan stayed in New York, Chris struck out for California and became a US citizen in 1946. He became involved with Don Bachardy on Valentine’s Day 1953 and their life together is chronicled in Isherwood’s later Diaries. Bachardy (b.1934, Los Angeles) pursued a successful career as a portrait artist and Isherwood went on to write another five novels including A Single Man (which was made into a movie directed by Tom Ford in 2009). In the 1960s and ‘70s he turned to autobiographical works including Kathleen and Frank and Christopher and His Kind.Don continues to live in the house which he shared with Chris for 33 years, overlooking Santa Monica Canyon.
Katherine Bucknell is editor of all four volumes of Christopher Isherwood's Diaries and of W.H.Auden's Juvenilia: Poems 1922-1928. She is co-editor of Auden Studies and a founder of the W.H.Auden Society. She is also the author of four novels and is currently working on a major new biography of Christopher Isherwood. www.katherinebucknell.com