Cover image for Under the volcano
Title:
Under the volcano
Author:
Lowry, Malcolm, 1909-1957.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First Perennial Classics edition.
Publication Information:
[New York] : Perennial Classics, 2000.

©1947
Physical Description:
xxvi, 397 pages ; 21 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780060955229
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Call Number
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Status
Central Library FICTION Adult Fiction Central Library
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Kenmore Library FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Geoffrey Firmin, a former British consul, has come to Quauhnahuac, Mexico. Here the consul's debilitating malaise is drinking, and activity that has overshadowed his life. Under the Volcano is set during the most fateful day of the consul's life--the Day of the Dead, 1938. His wife, Yvonne, arrives in Quauhnahuac to rescue him and their failing marriage, inspired by a vision of life together away from Mexico and the circumstances that have driven their relationship to the brink of collapse. Yvonne's mission is to save the consul is further complicated by the presence of Hugh, the consul's half-brother, and Jacques, a childhood friend. The events of this one day unfold against a backdrop unforgettable for its evocation of a Mexico at once magical and diabolical.

Under the Volcano remains one of the most powerful and lyrical statements on the human condition and one man's constant struggle against the elemental forces that threaten to destroy him.


Author Notes

Clarence Malcolm Lowry was born on July 28, 1909 in Cheshire, England. He attended Braeside School, Caldicote School and the Leys School, Cambridge before sailing to the Far East as a deckhand in the summer of 1927.

Upon his return in 1929, Lowry settled down to his education, first studying with poet and novelist Conrad Aiken for several months and then entering St. Catherine's College, Cambridge University, England. He graduated in 1932 with a B.A. in English and published his first novel, "Ultramarine," in 1933.

In 1934, he married Jan Gabrail in Paris, but was tormented by emotional problems. After spending some time in the psychiatric wing of Bellevue Hospital in New York, he began work on his next book, "Lunar Caustic" in 1935. The next year, he and his wife moved to Mexico where he began writing "Under the Volcano." Over the next 10 years, work on the book continued, despite personal crises that included a divorce and remarriage, moves from Mexico to Los Angeles to Vancouver, and the destruction of his home by fire. "Under the Volcano" was finally published in New York on February 19, 1947 and in London on September 1, 1947.

The book has since become a classic, but unfortunately its themes of alcoholism and failure were all too genuine a part of Lowry's life. While he continued to write and to travel, the remainder of his life was plagued by the severe emotional problems brought about by his excessive drinking.

Malcolm Lowry died on June 27, 1957 in the English village of Ripe, Sussex.

(Bowker Author Biography)


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