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James Saunders Biography

(1925–2004), Next Time I'll Sing to You, A Scent of Flowers

attempt killed daughter

British dramatist, born in Islington, educated at Southampton University; he worked as a chemistry teacher before writing Next Time I'll Sing to You (1962), an attempt to uncover the motives of a modern hermit. His subsequent work, often notable for its sympathy for those who find it difficult to fit in with a society intolerant of oddity or strong emotion, includes A Scent of Flowers (1964), a dramatic post-mortem on a girl who has been driven to suicide by her family's lack of understanding and compassion; The Borage Pigeon Affair (1969), a satire on small town hypocrisy and squalor; Bodies (1977), on one level a tale about the infidelities of two couples, on another an attempt to put the case for the turbulent and neurotic over the rational, placid, and contented; Fall (1984), about the reunion of three sisters respectively seeking fulfilment in Zen Buddhism, left-wing politics, and the hippie life; Making It Better (1992), about a BBC producer who, breaking with her homosexual husband, launches into affairs with two Czechoslovakians, one a down-at-heel émigré, the other a young, ruthless representative of the newly liberated Eastern Europe; and Retreat (1995), a psychological thriller involving a confrontation between a reclusive journalist who has killed his wife and maimed his daughter in a car crash, and the daughter of two of his old friends, themselves recently killed in a plane accident. Saunders also wrote drama for television and radio and adapted Vaclav Havel's Redevelopment for the stage in 1991.

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