Brien, Alan 1925–2008

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Brien, Alan 1925–2008

(John Jolley)


See index for CA sketch: Born March 12, 1925, in Sunderland, England; died May 23, 2008. Critic, columnist, novelist, and author. Brien was well known to British readers from his colorful columns in popular periodicals such as the Daily Mail (sometimes using the pseudonym John Jolley), the Dispatch, the New Statesman, and, from the late 1960s through 1984, Punch and the London Times. He began his career as a television, film, and drama critic in the fifties and sixties, writing for the Observer, the Evening Standard, the Spectator, and other publications, but his criticism spread past the conventional boundaries of the genre and eventually focused on commentary about popular culture and the people who create it. Brien continued to write criticism well into the 1980s, but increasingly it was his columns—described as intellectual, witty, and perceptive by some, or opinionated and frivolous by others—that attracted his loyal followers. Brien also wrote a novel, Lenin (1987), that generated some favorable reviews, but he earned more attention from his nonfiction work Domes of Fortune (1979), which was described as a photo-essay devoted to women's breasts. Most of all, he may be remembered for his wide-ranging column "Alan Brien's Week," which appeared from about 1967 to 1975.



Times (London, England), May 26, 2008, p. 43.

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Brien, Alan 1925–2008

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