Author(s): Lawrence Durrell
In the first book of Durrell's Alexandria Quartet, the story of the mysterious and charismatic Justine is told by her lover, an impoverished Irish teacher who has sought refuge across the Mediterranean in Greece. It is a love story, but the real heroine of the book is its setting: the city of Alexandria, with a sky of 'hot nude pearl' and a thousand streets below, crowded, sensual and exotic; a complex and heady mix of elegance and poverty.
The classic novel by Lawrence Durrell, now in the Faber Modern Classics series with a new foreword by novelist Victoria Hislop.
Lawrence Durrell was born in 1912 in India. He attended the Jesuit College at Darjeeling and St Edmund's School, Canterbury. His first literary work, The Black Book, appeared in Paris in 1938. His first collection of poems, A Private Country, was published in 1943, followed by the three Island books: Prospero's Cell, Reflections on a Marine Venus, about Rhodes, and Bitter Lemons, his account of life in Cyprus. Durrell's wartime sojourn in Egypt led to his masterpiece, The Alexandria Quartet, which he completed in southern France where he settled permanently in 1957. Between the Quartet and The Avignon Quintet he wrote the two-decker Tunc and Nunquam. His oeuvre includes plays, a book of criticism, translations, travel writing, and humorous stories about the diplomatic corps. Caesar's Vast Ghost, his reflections on the history and culture of Provence, including a late flowering of poems, appeared a few days before his death in Sommieres in 1990.