Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Damned to Fame

The Life of Samuel Beckett

by James R. Knowlson

“If anyone could know this private man, Knowlson does. And tells.” –Time

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 800
  • Publication Date May 25, 2004
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4125-5
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $22.00

About The Book

Damned to Fame is the brilliant and insightful portrait of Nobel Prize–winning author Samuel Beckett, mysterious and reclusive master of twentieth-century literature. Professor James Knowlson, Beckett’s chosen biographer and a leading authority on Beckett, vividly re-creates Beckett’s life from his birth in a rural suburb of Dublin in 1906 to his death in Paris in 1989, revealing the real man behind the literary giant. Scrupulously researched and filled with previously unknown information garnered from interviews with the author and his friends, family, and contemporaries, Knowlson’s unparalleled work is the definitive Beckett biography of our time.


“A magnificent biography . . . Damned to Fame splendidly preserves the truths embodied in Beckett’s life.” –J. D. O’Hara, The New York Times Book Review

“Knowlson’s study of Beckett is a heroic enterprise of literary biography, an exhilarating assault on a craggy, enigmatic genius.” –Steve Winn, The San Francisco Chronicle

“Soon to be the bible of Beckett enthusiasts.” –Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

“By working through this model of biographical excellence you will better understand Beckett and perhaps yourself.” –Los Angeles Times

“If anyone could know this private man, Knowlson does. And tells.” –Time

“An exhaustive and loving work; it tells you as much as anyone can about Samuel Beckett.” –Edward Albee


Winner of the George Freedley Memorial Award for the Outstanding Book on Theatre