Bernard Diederich

Seeds of Fiction

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In 1965, Graham Greene joined journalist Bernard Diederich in the Dominican Republic to embark on a tour of its border with Haiti, then ruled by 'Papa Doc' Duvalier. They were accompanied by an activist priest, Jean-Claude Bajeux. Diederich had known Greene since the mid-1950s and had lived in Haiti for 14 years. He was a seasoned correspondent for the British and North American press and had reported many stories from the region, including Castro's triumph in Cuba and the death of the Dominican dictator, Trujillo. In 1963, he had been thrown out of Haiti and when Greene arrived was working from the Dominican Republic. The famous novelist was 61 and depressed having struggled to finish A Burnt-Out Case and was being plagued by religious doubt; Bajeux, meanwhile, had been informed that his family had been 'disappeared' by Duvalier's henchmen. As this trio travelled along the border they met a number of rebels and other characters later fictionalized in Greene's most politically charged novel, The Comedians, published the following year. This major new biography finally and fully illuminates a pivotal episode in Greene's life and career in the kind of detail that will sate any fans of Graham Greene's work, but also provides a fascinating glimpse into a writer's life, making it an essential purchase for fans of literary biography. Including extensive new archive material on Greene and exclusive, never-before-seen photographs of Greene on his travels, this book tells the story of how a series of extraordinary and often hair-raising journeys gave one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century new inspiration in his writing.
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556 printed pages
Original publication
2013

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