This mesmerizing story of playwright and author Joe Orton’s brief and remarkable life was named book of the year by Truman Capote and Nobel Prize–winning novelist Patrick White
Told with precision and extensive detail, Prick Up Your Ears is the engrossing biography of playwright and novelist Joe Orton. Orton’s public career spanned only three years (1964–1967), but his work made a lasting mark on the international stage. From Entertaining Mr. Sloane to his career-making Loot, Orton’s plays often shocked, sometimes outraged, and always captivated audiences with their dark yet farcical cynicism. A rising star and undeniable talent, Orton left much undone when he was bludgeoned to death by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, who had educated Orton and also dreamed of becoming a famous writer. Prick Up Your Ears was the basis for the distinguished 1987 film of the same name, directed by Stephen Frears, with a screenplay by Alan Bennett, and starring Gary Oldman and Vanessa Redgrave. A brilliant, page-turning examination of the dueling forces behind Orton’s work, Prick Up Your Ears secured the playwright’s reputation as a great twentieth-century artist.