Arion Lyre

88. Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene, with illustrations by William Hamilton

Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene, with illustrations by William Hamilton and an introduction by Christopher Buckley, May 2010.


Graham Greene (1904-1991) was a major English writer of the twentieth century, often compared in stature to his contemporary Evelyn Waugh, a fellow Catholic and social satirist. He is unusual in combining popular success with a reputation for literary art and philosophical depth. The child of a distinguished professional family, he spent a miserable childhood as a pupil in the school where his father was headmaster, attended Oxford, then worked as a literary journalist in London. Greene spent much of his time abroad, in West Africa, Mexico, Haiti, and Argentina, living in his final years in Vevey, Switzerland. While in Sierra Leone during World War II, he worked for British Intelligence under Kim Philby, a friend whom he continued to defend after Philby’s career as a Soviet double agent was revealed. Although Greene insisted upon a distinction between his  “novels” (such as Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory, and The End of the Affair) and what he termed his  “entertainments”, written for money, critics find literary merit in the latter, in Our Man in Havana in particular.


William Hamilton is a cartoonist who also writes novels and plays. A social satirist in many genres, he is best is known for his New Yorker cartoons, with their up-to-the-minute reports on the manners of the privileged class. Hamilton has been a regular contributor of cartoons to the New Yorker since 1965. A fourth generation Californian, he was raised on a ranch in the Napa Valley and now lives in St. Helena, California, and Lexington, Kentucky. He is the artist of the Arion Press edition of Moliere’s comedy Tartuffe.


Christopher Buckley is a journalist, political satirist, humorist, and novelist who lives in Washington, D.C. Among his novels are Supreme Courtship, Thank You for Smoking, Boomsday, and The White House Mess. His most recent book is Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir, about his parents William F. and Pat Buckley. He is editor at large for Forbes/Life and a columnist for The Daily Beast and the author of a widely-read 2008 essay,  “Sorry, Dad. I’m Voting for Obama”.

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