A new book of correspondence, interviews, and photographs documenting Beckett’s relationship with American publisher Barney Rosset

Barney Rosset, Dear Mr. Beckett: Letters from the Publisher (Opus, 2016)
Barney Rosset, Dear Mr. Beckett: Letters from the Publisher (Opus, 2016)

Through letters, contracts, photos, interviews, speeches, reviews and memorabilia–most of which has never before been made public–a rare personal and professional friendship unfolds between these two oddly shy daredevils; through their embrace, they shifted and turned the tide of literature in America.
Among the many never before published entries:

  • Beckett’s discussion about acting with his long time director, Alan Schneider, as they huddled with Barney Rosset in his East Hampton Quonset hut about their upcoming rehearsal with Buster Keaton.
  • Susan Sontag correspondence on her GODOT production in Sarajevo.
  • The comprehensive ENDGAME file about the controversial production in Cambridge, Mass. which proceeded against Beckett’s wishes.
  • Interviews with Eugene Ionesco and Alain Robbe-Grillet about Beckett and Rosset and the Absurdists.
  • Estelle Parsons correspondence with Beckett about the actress’s proposal to perform GODOT with Shelley Winters on Broadway.
  • Comprehensive file on the genesis and development of Beckett’s ROCKABY with Billie Whitelaw.
  • Comprehensive file on Rosset’s termination from Grove, the press he founded and championed.

Barney Rosset defended personal freedom of the written word at great personal risk (he was arrested numerous times) and redefined American’s Puritanical literary parameters. Together with Beckett, his name is forever linked with his authors who include William S. Burroughs, Malcolm X, Henry Miller, Jean Genet, Harold Pinter, and D.H. Lawrence. These authors owe their right to publication to him. He was a long time denizen of Greenwich Village.

Lois Oppenheim (Editor) is past president of the International Beckett Society.

Dear Mr. Beckett is available from Opus.

Posted by:Rhys Tranter

Rhys Tranter is a writer based in Cardiff, Wales, UK. He is the author of Beckett's Late Stage (2018), and his work has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, and a number of books and periodicals. He holds a BA, MA, and a PhD in English Literature. His website RhysTranter.com is a personal journal offering commentary and analysis across literature, film, music, and the arts.

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