Isherwood on the Big Screen

A Single Man, based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel, opened in a few theaters last week and will roll out nationally on Christmas Day. Fashion designer Tom Ford’s directorial debut has received generally admiring reviews as well as three Golden Globe nominations:

  • Colin Firth, Best Actor
  • Julianne Moore, Best Supporting Actress
  • Best Original Score

In its review of the movie, the NYT describes the book as,

…a foundational text in modern gay literature. The novelist Edmund White, for one, called the book “the first truly liberated gay novel in English.”


An intensely, at times uncomfortably, intimate work of fiction, A Single Man condenses [the main character] George’s story — much of his very life — into one emotion- and event-charged day. What makes the day special, and the book too, is George’s existential condition. George is single. And he is a man. But he is also a homosexual, which helps set him and his lusting, fading body apart from almost everyone in his life.

Given the gay theme, there have been accusations that promoting the movie with an image of Colin Firth and Julianne Moore sharing a pillow is, at the least, misleading.


[To see the trailer in a full-screen version, go to the movie Web site.]

The University of Minnesota Press, which owns the rights to many of Isherwood’s titles, is releasing the tie-in. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the press originally planned to include Moore on the cover, but Ford “nixed the idea.”

The U. of Minn. Press also created a Web site for the book, that includes an excerpt, reading group guides and information on other Isherwood titles in their catalog.

A Single Man
Christopher Isherwood
Retail Price: $15.95
Paperback: 186 pages
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press – (2001-04)
ISBN / EAN: 0816638624 / 9780816638628

HighBridge is releasing a new audio version, with tie-in art:

A Single Man
Christopher Isherwood
Audio CD: $24.95
Publisher: HighBridge Company – (2009-12-22)
ISBN / EAN: 1615730583 / 9781615730582

Audio Excerpt

Audio also downloadable from OverDrive

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