Thomas Wiseman

Last updated

Thomas Wiseman (born Alphons Weissmann, Vienna, 1931 - 29 August, 2018) was a British author, playwright and screenwriter.

Vienna Capital city and state in Austria

Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or play, and is thus also a writer. More broadly defined, an author is "the person who originated or gave existence to anything" and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created.



Thomas Wiseman was born in Vienna in January 1931 of Jewish parentage. He escaped to England with his mother in 1939, shortly before the outbreak of war. His father, an officer in the First World War, had arranged their escape with his contacts in high places, but he remained behind, believing he could rely on these "contacts" to protect him. In this he was ultimately to be proved mistaken, and he died in Buchenwald concentration camp. Elements of this story have feature in three of Wiseman's novels, The Quick and the Dead, Journey of A Man, The Time Before the War, and in his play The Dealer.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

After the war Wiseman began his career in journalism, aged 16, on a London local newspaper, the West London Observer, where he worked as a reporter and wrote film, theatre and book reviews. These got him banned from press showings for the critics, but also brought him to the attention of Lord Beaverbrook. As a result, he was hired by the London Evening Standard to write their showbiz column.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Reviewing Wiseman's first novel, Czar, in the Sunday Times Frederic Raphael wrote: "Thomas Wiseman used to be the columnist the film companies wouldn't have on the set, so savage (and so right?) were his judgements. It was said that he was a dagger pointed at the industry." This novel drew on Wiseman's knowledge of Hollywood and the film business, and its commercial success enabled him to work full-time on writing books.

Frederic Michael Raphael is an American-born, British screenwriter, biographer, nonfiction writer, novelist and journalist.

Hollywood Neighborhood of Los Angeles in California, United States

Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California, notable as the home of the U.S. film industry including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the industry and the people associated with it.

His second novel, Journey of A Man, and his third novel, The Quick and the Dead, focused on his family history, especially his father's activities in Vienna under the Nazis seeking to ransom Jews able to pay for their lives. The Quick and the Dead earned him a Jewish Chronicle Book Award. The TLS wrote of it: "...a harshly funny and effective study of Nazi self-delusion and atrocity...brilliantly achieved."

Jews ancient nation and ethnoreligious group from the Levant

Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance.

For his next novel, The Romantic Englishwoman, Wiseman wrote a story of a novelist who describes in fictional form his wife's sexual encounter with a sponging self-styled poet in Baden-Baden, and the novelist's vivid imagination "begets the event". This novel was made into a film by Joseph Losey, with screenplay by Wiseman and Tom Stoppard, starring Glenda Jackson as the wife, Michael Caine as the novelist and Helmut Berger as the poet.

Baden-Baden Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Baden-Baden is a spa town in the state of Baden-Württemberg, south-western Germany, at the north-western border of the Black Forest mountain range on the small river Oos, ten kilometres east of the Rhine, the border with France, and forty kilometres north-east of Strasbourg, France.

Joseph Losey American film director

Joseph Walton Losey III was an American theatre and film director. Born in Wisconsin, he studied in Germany with Bertolt Brecht and then returned to the United States. Blacklisted by Hollywood in the 1950s, he moved to Europe where he made the remainder of his films, mostly in the United Kingdom. Among the most critically and commercially successful were three films with screenplays by Harold Pinter, The Servant (1963), Accident (1967) and The Go-Between (1971).

Tom Stoppard British playwright

Sir Tom Stoppard is a Czech-born British playwright and screenwriter. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, finding prominence with plays such as Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Professional Foul, The Real Thing, The Invention of Love, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He co-wrote the screenplays for Brazil, The Russia House, and Shakespeare in Love, and has received an Academy Award and four Tony Awards. His work covers the themes of human rights, censorship and political freedom, often delving into the deeper philosophical thematics of society. Stoppard has been a key playwright of the National Theatre and is one of the most internationally performed dramatists of his generation. In 2008, The Daily Telegraph ranked him number 11 in their list of the "100 most powerful people in British culture".

In his later works Wiseman returned again to the war, achieving commercial successes with The Day Before Sunrise and Savage Day.

With his novel, Genius Jack, he returned to the film business for subject matter.

In addition to his novels, Wiseman has written non-fiction works such as Cinema (a history) and The Money Motive, the psychoanalytical study of an obsession. He has also written two produced plays, The Private Prosecutor, put on at the Royal Court Theatre in 1957, and The Dealer.

His journalism included three years writing a weekly column on the arts for The Guardian .


He was married to Malou Pantera, a former actress, and had one son, Boris, who is a senior lecturer in French studies at Durham University and an authority on Claude Lévi-Strauss.





Related Research Articles

Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the plot takes place in a setting located in the past. Although the term is commonly used as a synonym for the historical novel, it can also be applied to other types of narrative, including theatre, opera, cinema and television, as well as video games and graphic novels.

Graham Greene English writer, playwright and literary critic

Henry Graham Greene, better known by his pen name Graham Greene, was an English novelist regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Combining literary acclaim with widespread popularity, Greene acquired a reputation early in his lifetime as a major writer, both of serious Catholic novels, and of thrillers. He was shortlisted, in 1966 and 1967, for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Through 67 years of writings, which included over 25 novels, he explored the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world, often through a Catholic perspective.

Ethan Hawke American actor and writer

Ethan Green Hawke is an American actor, writer, and director. He has been nominated for four Academy Awards and a Tony Award. Hawke has directed three feature films, three Off-Broadway plays, and a documentary. He has also written three novels.

<i>Pet Sematary</i> novel by Stephen King

Pet Sematary is a 1983 horror novel by American writer Stephen King, nominated for a World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1986, and adapted into a 1989 film of the same name. In November 2013, PS Publishing released Pet Sematary in a limited 30th Anniversary Edition.

Roberto Bolaño Chilean author

Roberto Bolaño Ávalos was a Chilean novelist, short-story writer, poet and essayist. In 1999, Bolaño won the Rómulo Gallegos Prize for his novel Los detectives salvajes, and in 2008 he was posthumously awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for his novel 2666, which was described by board member Marcela Valdes as a "work so rich and dazzling that it will surely draw readers and scholars for ages". The New York Times described him as "the most significant Latin American literary voice of his generation".

<i>Before Sunrise</i> 1995 film by Richard Linklater

Before Sunrise is a 1995 American romantic drama film directed by Richard Linklater and written by Linklater and Kim Krizan. The film follows Jesse, a young American man, and Céline, a young French woman, who meet on a train and disembark in Vienna, where they spend the night walking around the city and getting to know each other.

Daniel Keyes American author

Daniel Keyes was an American writer who wrote the novel Flowers for Algernon. Keyes was given the Author Emeritus honor by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2000.

Shiva Naipaul, born Shivadhar Srinivasa Naipaul in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, was a Trinidadian and British novelist and journalist.

Richard Pohl was a German music critic, writer, poet, and amateur composer. He figured prominently in the mid-century War of the Romantics, taking the side opposite Eduard Hanslick, and championing the "Music of the Future".

Eva Ibbotson British childrens writer

Eva Maria Charlotte Michelle Ibbotson, more commenly known as Eva Ibbotson, was an Austrian-born British novelist, known for her children's books. Some of her novels for adults have been successfully reissued for the young adult market in recent years.

<i>The Romantic Englishwoman</i> 1975 film by Joseph Losey

The Romantic Englishwoman is a 1975 British film directed by Joseph Losey and starring Michael Caine, Glenda Jackson, Helmut Berger. It marks the feature-length screen debut for Kate Nelligan. The screenplay was written by Tom Stoppard and Thomas Wiseman.

<i>Possession</i> (Byatt novel) novel by A. S. Byatt

Possession: A Romance is a 1990 best-selling novel by British writer A. S. Byatt that won the 1990 Booker Prize. The novel explores the postmodern concerns of similar novels, which are often categorised as historiographic metafiction, a genre that blends approaches from both historical fiction and metafiction.

Don Winslow American writer

Don Winslow is an American author who has written the screenplays for Savages, Satori and other adaptations of his novels with screenwriter/producer Shane Salerno.

<i>Stamboul Train</i> novel by Graham Greene

Stamboul Train (1932) is the second significant novel by Graham Greene. Set on an "Orient Express" train that ran from Ostend, Belgium, to Istanbul, Turkey, the book was renamed Orient Express when it was published in the United States. Greene in fact wrote three books before this one, but two were unsuccessful and he later disowned them, The Name of Action (1930) and Rumour at Nightfall (1932). Stamboul Train (1932) was Greene's first true success and it was taken on by the Book Society and in 1934 adapted as the film Orient Express.

Paweł Pawlikowski Polish film director and screenwriter

Paweł Aleksander Pawlikowski is a Polish filmmaker, who has lived and worked most of his life in the United Kingdom. He garnered much acclaim for a string of award-winning documentaries in the 1990s and for his feature films Last Resort and My Summer of Love, both of which won a BAFTA and many other European awards. His film Ida won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. At the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, Pawlikowski won the Best Director prize for his 2018 film Cold War, a film which also earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director.

Calder Baynard Willingham, Jr. was an American novelist and screenwriter.

Kim Seungok writer

Kim Seungok is a South Korean novelist and screenwriter.

Lionel Shapiro was a Canadian journalist and novelist. A war correspondent for The Montreal Gazette, he landed at the Allied invasion of Sicily, Salerno and Juno Beach on D-Day with the Canadian forces.

<i>Modern Baptists</i> book by James Wilcox

Published in 1983, Modern Baptists is the universally praised debut novel by American author James Wilcox, and his best known work.