Nobel Prize winner (1969) Samuel Beckett was born on April 13, 1906 near Dublin, Ireland into a middle-class Protestant family. As a boy, he studied French and enjoyed cricket, tennis, and boxing. At Trinity College he continued his studies in French and Italian and became interested in theater and film, including American film. After graduation, Beckett taught English in Paris and traveled through France and Germany. While in Paris Beckett met Suzanne Deschevaus-Dusmesnil. During World War II when Paris was invaded, they joined the Resistance. They were later forced to flee Paris after being betrayed to the Gestapo, but returned in 1945. Beckett and Deschevaus-Dusmesnil married in 1961. Samuel Beckett's first novel was Dream of Fair to Middling Women. Among his many works are Murphy; Malone Dies; and The Unnameable. His plays include Endgame, Happy Days, Not I, That Time, and Krapp's Last Tape. In 1953, the production of Waiting For Godot in Paris by director and actor Roger Blin earned Beckett international fame. Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969. His style was postmodern minimalist and some of his major themes were imprisonment in one's self, the failure of language, and moral conduct in a godless world. Despite his fame, Samuel Beckett led a secluded life. In his later years he suffered from cataracts and emphysema. His wife Suzanne died on July 17, 1989 and Beckett died on December 22nd of the same year.
S. E. Gontarski is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University, USA. He has been awarded four National Endowment for the Humanities research grants, has twice been awarded Fulbright Professorships, has been Guest Editor of the following: American Book Review, The Review of Contemporary Fiction , and Modern Fiction Studies and most recently Drammaturgia .nbsp; He is the author or editor of 15 books, including Samuel Beckett: The Complete Short Prose, 1928-1989 (Grove Press, 1996),nbsp; The Theatrical Notebooks of Samuel Beckett, Volume IV: The Shorter Plays (Grove Press (U. S.) and Faber and Faber (U.K.), 1999),nbsp; A Companion To Samuel Beckett (Wiley/Blackwell, 2010), Beckett after Beckett (ed. with Anthony Uhlmann, University Press of Florida, 2006), The Faber Companion to Samuel Beckett: A Reader's Guide to His Life, Works, and Thought (with C. J. Ackerly, Faber and Faber, 2006), The Grove Press Reader, 1951-2001 (Grove Press, 2001), Modernism, Censorship and the Politics of Publishing (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000). He is also General Editor of two book series: "Crosscurrents: Comparative Studies in European Literature and Philosophy" (University Press of Florida) and "Anthem Studies in Theatre and Performance" (Anthem Press, London).nbsp;