Sally Bowles

A long goodbye to Berlin

Christopher Isherwood pioneered what is now known as ‘autofiction’ long before it acquired that label. His best known work, Goodbye to Berlin (1939), which later inspired the musical Cabaret, was based on the diaries he kept while living in the Weimar Republic in his twenties. He’d already used the material before in Mr Norris Changes Trains (1935), a brilliant black comedy thriller that deserves to be read alongside more supposedly serious works of modernism. Forty years later, he reworked the experiences yet again in Christopher and His Kind (1977), in which he finally made explicit, for the new gay liberation era, what had been suppressed in the earlier works: his