W.H. Auden (1907–1973) was an English poet, playwright, and essayist who lived and worked in the United States for much of the second half of his life. His work, from his early strictly metered verse, and plays written in collaboration with Christopher Isherwood, to his later dense poems and penetrating essays, represents one of the major achievements of twentieth-century literature.
Stifter’s rapturous and enigmatic tale of village life begins with a small anecdote—one Christmas eve, a brother and sister lose their way amid snowdrifts while crossing the Alps—and opens onto vast questions of faith and destiny. “[Stifter was] one of the most strangely gripping narrators in world literature.”—Thomas Mann
Auden’s great, transformative anthology, assembled when his own work was at its most provocative and searching, is above all a rethinking of the history of poetry in English.
Auden’s inspired and incisive response to a thinker who had done much to shape his own beliefs is a fundamental reading of an author whose spirit remains as radical as ever more than 150 years after he wrote.
Ackerley’s pursuit of his father is also an exploration of the self, making My Father and Myself a pioneering record, at once sexually explicit and emotionally charged, of life as a gay man.