Author(s): Christopher Bigsby
The first volume of Christopher Bigsby's award-winning biography of Arthur Miller was hailed as a masterpiece and the definitive account of Miller's early years. Here, now, is the second half of Miller's captivating story, taking the story from 1962 to his death in 2005. In 1962, Miller's legacy was incomplete. Ahead lay eighteen plays, five films, a novella and a handful of stories. On a personal level, 1962 saw the death of his second wife, the iconographic Marilyn Monroe, and his marriage to the Magnum photographer Inge Morath who was to transform him as a writer and a person. A visit to Mauthaussen concentration camp and to the Frankfurt trials of Auschwitz-Birkenau guards moved the Holocaust to the centre of his attention. He became a more directly political person, and met such statesmen as Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro. In terms of his writing, one of the paradoxes of the last thirty years of his life was the fact that many American critics treated him with some suspicion, and even disdain, at the very moment his new work was being hailed internationally. This volume explores some of the reasons for the divergent views of a writer who not only captured a changing America but helped to change it. Christopher Bigsby brilliantly and elegantly maps out the journey of Miller's life and work. Shedding new light on Miller's complexities, and revealing unknown facts about his public and private life, Bigsby shares new insights and perspectives crucial to an understanding of one of the world's greatest playwrights.
Christopher Bigsby is Professor of American Studies at the University of East Anglia, and is Director of the Arthur Miller Centre there.