Stranger Than... - The Naked Civil Servant

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9780007241682: Stranger Than... - The Naked Civil Servant

The flamboyant autobiography of the uninhibited and wonderful Quentin Crisp.

Quentin Crisp was a true original. With his mauve hair and flamboyant sense of style, by the time of his death he was widely hailed as one of the great British eccentrics.

An openly gay man in a less tolerant era (he once declared himself the “Stately Homo of England”) he was born on Christmas Day 1908 to “middle-class, middle-brow” parents, and sent to boarding school in Derbyshire (“a cross between a monastery and a prison”).

He moved to London in the 1920s, earning money through stints nude modelling, prostitution and book designing.

After a radio appearance in 1968 he decided to write his autobiography. Initially it sold only 3,500 copies and the future looked bleak (‘If at first you don't succeed,’ Crisp once said, ‘failure may be your style’). But after it adaptation into a drama for the BBC in 1975, books began to fly off the shelves and Crisp became an overnight celebrity. Three years later he made his off-Broadway debut in ‘An Evening with Quentin Crisp’ and followed it with his version of Lady Bracknell in ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’. Over the years further books followed: 'How to Have a Life-Style', 'Manners From Heaven', 'How to Be a Virgin' and 'Resident Alien', his acclaimed New York diaries.

He died in November 1999, just one month before his 91st birthday.

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Review:

‘A work of great wit, intelligence and sensitivity.’ Washington Post Book World

From the Back Cover:

Quentin Crisp has been described as one of England’s works of art. In this funny, moving account of his outrageous youth, he describes his unhappy childhood and the stresses of adolescence which led him to London. There, in bedsitting rooms and cafés, he found a world of brutality and comedy, of short-lived jobs and precarious relationships. It was a life he faced with courage, humour and intelligence.

‘Brilliant, full of sardonic humour with sharp spurts of wit’
IRISH TIMES

‘Mr Crisp states his alarming case so wittily and gracefully… The steady chirrup of Crisperanto provides shrewd comments on queers’ molls and, in particular, an unforgettable account of the American invasion of wartime London – ‘Never in the history of sex was so much offered by so many to so few.’ Truly riotous.’
PAUL BAILEY, 'Observer'

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