John Lahr—New Yorker critic, novelist, and biographer of his father Bert Lahr (Notes on a Cowardly Lion)—reconstructs both the life and death of Joe Orton in another extraordinary biography that was chosen Book of the Year by Truman Capote and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Patrick White when it first appeared in 1978.
"I have high hopes of dying in my prime," Joe Orton confided to his diary in July, 1967. Less than one month later, Britain's most promising comic playwright was murdered by his lover in the London flat they had shared for fifteen years. Lahr chronicles Orton's working-class childhood and stagestruck adolescence, the scandals and disasters of his early professional years, and the brief, glittering success of his blistering comedies, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Loot, and What the Butler Saw.
Prick Up Your Ears is a watershed biography; it paved the way for Orton's revival and ensured his rightful place in the English repertoire.