Taken together, Arthur Koestler's volumes of autobiography constitute an unrivalled study of twentieth-century man and his dilemma. Arrow in the Blue ended with his joining the Communist Party and The Invisible Writing covers some of the most important experiences in his life.
This book tells of Koestler's travels through Russia and remote parts of Soviet Central Asia and of his life as an exile. It puts in perspective his experiences in Franco's prisons under sentence of death and in concentration camps in Occupied France and ends with his escape in 1940 to England, where he found stability and a new home.
Arthur Koestler was born in Budapest in 1905. He attended the university of Vienna before working as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, Berlin and Paris. For six years (1932-38) he was an active member of the Communist Party, and was captured by Franco's troops in the Spanish Civil War and imprisoned under sentence of death. In 1940 he came to England, adopting the language with his first book, Scum of the Earth. His publications manifest a wide range of political, scientific and literary interests, and include Darkness at Noon, Arrow in the Blue and The Invisible Writing. He died in 1983 by suicide, having frequently expressed a belief in the right to euthanasia.