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The American Isherwood$
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James J. Berg and Chris Freeman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816683611

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816683611.001.0001

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A Real Diamond

A Real Diamond

The Multicultural World of A Single Man

(p.95) 7 A Real Diamond
The American Isherwood

James J. Berg

Chris Freeman

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines Christopher Isherwood’s treatment of the realities of multiculturalism and multiethnicity in his 1964 novel A Single Man. Isherwood’s novel takes place on the campus of San Tomas State College, the fictional locale of Los Angeles State College (now California State University at Los Angeles). Isherwood wrote A Single Man after having spent several terms teaching at various colleges and universities in Southern California. More than any other teaching experience, Isherwood drew on his year at Los Angeles State for his portrait of college life in A Single Man. His depiction of minorities in the novel is progressive; he calls for acknowledgment and discussion of diversity. Aside from showing the life two gay men such as Isherwood and Don Bachardy built together and what they endured in mid-century America, A Single Man teaches us an approach to diversity as an opportunity rather than a problem.

Keywords:   novel, Christopher Isherwood, multiculturalism, multiethnicity, A Single Man, Los Angeles State College, minorities, diversity, gay men, Don Bachardy

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