The Late Greene that Never Was

After Monsignor Quixote (1982), Graham Greene wrote one more full length novel, The Captain and the Enemy (1987). The Tenth Man (1985) does not count as it originated as a 1940s film treatment. However, in the mid-1980s, Greene was confident enough to give a title, On The Way Back, to a new novel to be set in Panama. It would be based on his close affiliation with this unusual and strategically vital Central American country. The novel was never written. The fact that Greene invested a great deal of time and emotional involvement in Panama and its unconventional leader meant that its legacy is clearly visible both in the latter part of what is often described as his ‘problem’ novel, The Captain and the Enemy and also in his memoir of General Torrijos, President of Panama, Getting to Know the General: The Story of an Involvement (1984).

Creina Mansfield and Donna A. Gessell have written a perceptive analysis of this little-known subject which has never been researched before which helps to place these apparently disparate books in perspective. ‘Making Sense of Greene’s Panama: A Fuliginous Process’ can be found via the Resources and Archives tab on the Current Research page.