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Quentin Crisp

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Quentin Crisp
For the writer of supernatural fiction, see Quentin S. Crisp

Quentin Crisp (December 25, 1908 - November 21, 1999), born Denis Pratt, became a gay icon in the 1970s after becoming famous for his defiant and longstanding refusal to conceal his true sexuality.

Known for his clever and often insightful witticisms, Crisp wrote several books of autobiography and social advice, including The Naked Civil Servant and The Wit and Wisdom of Quentin Crisp. The Naked Civil Servant was later produced as a highly-successful television drama for the ITV network by Thames Television, with John Hurt starring as Crisp, who also put in a cameo appearance himself.

He moved to New York City in the early 1980s when he was in his seventies. He was the subject of Sting's hit song, Englishman in New York. Crisp lived in a small bedsitting apartment in the city's Lower East Side and supported himself by accepting social invitations and writing movie reviews and columns for various magazines and newspapers. He famously had his address and phone number listed in the New York City telephone directory and saw it as his duty to meet anyone who called him.

In his later years he appeared as a stage and film actor, notably as Queen Elizabeth I in the film Orlando.

External links

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Bibliography

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  • Colour in Display, (1938) Quentin Crisp, 131 pages, The Blandford Press. Manual on the use of colour in window displays.
  • All This And Bevin Too (1943) Quentin Crisp, illustrated by Mervyn Peake, Mervyn Peake Society ISBN 0950612502. Parable, in verse, about an unemployed kangaroo.
  • The Naked Civil Servant, (1968) Quentin Crisp, 222 pages, HarperCollins, ISBN 0006540449. Quentin Crisp's witty and wise account of the first half of his life.
  • Love Made Easy, (1977) Quentin Crisp, 154 pages, Duckworth, ISBN 0715611887. Fantastical, semi-autobiographical novel.
  • How to Have a Life Style, (1975), Quentin Crisp, 159 pages, Cecil Woolf Publishing, ISBN 0900821833. Elegant and insightful essays on charisma and personality.
  • Chog: A Gothic Fantasy, (1979), Quentin Crisp, illustrated by Jo Lynch, 165 pages, Methuen, ISBN 0413394905. Dark novel about the household of a ruinous stately home.
  • How to Become a Virgin, (1981) Quentin Crisp, 192 pages, HarperCollins, ISBN 0006387985. Second installment of autobiography, describing the fame his first book and its dramatisation, brought.
  • Doing it With Style, (1981) Quentin Crisp, with Donald Carroll, illustrated by Jonathan Hills, 157 pages, Methuen, ISBN 0413474909. A guide to thoughtful and stylish living.
  • The Wit and Wisdom of Quentin Crisp, (1984) Quentin Crisp, edited by Guy Kettlehack, Harper & Row, 140 pages, ISBN 0060911786. Compilation of Crisp's essays and quotations.
  • Manners from Heaven: a divine guide to good behaviour, (1984) Quentin Crisp, with John Hofsess, Hutchinson, ISBN 0091558107. Insightful and compassionate instructions for living.
  • How to Go to the Movies (1988) Quentin Crisp, 224 pages, St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0312054440. Movie reviews and essays on film.
  • The Gay and Lesbian Quotation Book: a literary companion, (1989) edited by Quentin Crisp, Hale, 185 pages ISBN 0709056052. Anthology of gay-related quotes.
  • Resident Alien: The New York Diaries (1996) Quentin Crisp, 225 pages, HarperCollins, ISBN 0006387179. Diaries and recollection from 1990-94.
  • The Stately Homo: a celebration of the life of Quentin Crisp, (2000) edited by Paul Bailey, Bantam, 251 pages, ISBN 0593046773. Collection of interviews and tributes from those who knew Crisp.
  • Quentin Crisp, (2002), Tim Fountain, Absolute Press, 192 pages, ISBN 1899791485. Biography by dramatist who knew Crisp in the last few years of his life.
  • Quentin and Philip, (2002), Andrew Barrow, Macmillan, 559 pages, ISBN 0333780515. Dual biography of Crisp and his friend Philip O'Connor.
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