Books: Brothers & Others

A MEETING BY THE RIVER, by Christopher Isherwood. 191 pages. Simon & Schuster. $4.50.

At a dinner party 30 years ago, Somerset Maugham turned to his hostess and, in one of his rare pronouncements on writers and writing, remarked that the future of English literature was in the hands of a handsome young man across the room, Christopher Isherwood. Not long afterward Isherwood abdicated; in 1936, he emigrated to California and left much of his creative vitality in England. Apparently only Irish expatriates write better when they leave their native land.

If Maugham was...

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