Obsessed by Graham Greene’s doubts that he would live to see the work completed, Norman Sherry has finished his third and final volume of novelist Graham Greene’s biography, which will appear in Britain next month. As Independent interviewer Andrew Gumbel reveals, Sherry is one dedicated biographer:
For seven years, he followed in his obsessively peripatetic subject’s footsteps, and the effort almost killed him. In Panama, he contracted gangrene of the intestine. In Haiti under the Duvaliers, he was detained at the airport and almost arrested after customs officers found a copy of Greene’s anti-Duvalier novel The Comedians in his luggage. In Liberia, he passed out from tropical diabetes and was lucky to be rescued by a Peace Corps doctor who gave him bottle after bottle of 7-Up to restore his blood sugar. Also in Liberia, a roadside thug pushed a revolver deep into his ear and permanently damaged his hearing. It did not help, on that trip, that he was still wearing an eye patch from a car accident that left him blind for six months.
Among other things, the interview chronicles the lengths to which Sherry went to uncover information Greene refused to tell him.