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John Osborne, the original Angry Young Man, shocked and transformed British theater in the 1950s with his play Look Back in Anger. This startling biography–the first to draw on the secret notebooks in which he recorded his anguish and depression–reveals the notorious rebel in all his heartrending complexity.
Through a working-class childhood and five marriages, Osborne led a tumultuous life. An impossible father, he threw his teenage daughter out of the house and never spoke to her again. His last written words were "I have sinned." Theater critic John Heilpern’s detailed portrait, including interviews with Osborne's daughter, scores of friends and enemies, and his alleged male lover, shows us a contradictory genius–an ogre with charm, a radical who hated change, and above all, a defiant individualist.