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Dyer was a talented young writer and determined to write a study of D.H. Lawrence. But when he sat down to write the book, he found himself distracted by . . . everything! Welcome to the world of Dyer! Gripped by indecision at every turn, he agonises over where to settle down to write, whether or not he should move in with his almost-girlfriend, and even which edition of Lawrence's poems to pack in his rucksack. In Out of Sheer Rage Dyer travels the world, providing fascinating insights into Lawrence's life and the continuing value of his work - and into the myriad anxieties that define the life of a writer.
A brilliantly varied new selection of D. H. Lawrence's essays, chosen and introduced by Geoff Dyer For D. H. Lawrence the novel was the pinnacle, 'the one bright book of life', yet his non-fiction shows him at his most freewheeling and playful. This is a selection of his essays, on subjects including art, morality, obscenity, songbirds, Italy, Thomas Hardy, the death of a porcupine in the Rocky Mountains and the narcissism of photographing ourselves. Arranged chronologically to illuminate the patterns of Lawrence's thought over time, and including many little-known pieces, they reveal a writer of enduring freshness and force. 'The greatest writer of this century, and in many things the greatest writer of all times' Philip Larkin
Mavis Gallant has been a leading literary figure in Canada since her first short story, published in 1951, and has grown to be considered internationally as a modern master of the genre. Her writing is nuanced, sensitive, gifted, deep and concise. She leaves everything open for the hidden potential that can always be discovered. Times change; society, history, politics may develop out of recognition. Cultures metamorphose. Literary landscapes and theories are renewed. But the classics of our time stay where they are, pillars of that which is solidly about us. Mavis Gallant's work is of that calibre: her writing will remain interesting and relevant no matter what else happens. This book is an exploration of what Gallant's readers are thinking now: where they place her in the panorama of literature and what meaning she has for them now. Scholars continue to probe into the stories, their characters, the capsules of history they present, and continue to find them challenging. As with Shakespeare, no amount of scrutiny will yield the final answer. That is how complex Gallant's writing is. Especially now, when the positioning of her characters is a more prominent condition in general, we need to review Gallant's artistic insights. As Francine Prose says in Harper's Magazine: Gallant's cast of characters are a "motley assortment of refugees, fugitives, and travelers" and "displaced persons scrambling on the margins of a society they will never belong to." This is the modern condition. As with other great writers, Gallant shows herself to be prophetic in cutting down to the roots of the sensibility of our era. We are reading her work, and we are thinking about it and talking about it. This book is part of that large conversation. Contributors are: Neil Besner, Di Brandt, Nicole Côté, John Lent, Gerald Lynch, Maria Noëlle Ng, Peter Stevens, Simone Vauthier, Per Winther.
This book scrutinizes the genre of the author-as-character with respect to three broad issues--authorship, the posthumous, and cultural revisionism--that arise in reading such works from a contemporary perspective. Late twentieth-century fiction "postmodernizes" romantic and modern authors not only to understand them better, but also to understand itself in relation to a past (literary tradition, aesthetic paradigms, cultural formations, etc.) that has not really passed. Penelope Fitzgerald's The Blue Flower, Peter Ackroyd's The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde and Chatterton, Peter Carey's Jack Maggs, Michael Cunningham's The Hours, Colm Toibin's The Master, and Geoff Dyer's Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D. H. Lawrence--"the mighty dead" (Harold Bloom) are brought back to life, reanimated and bodied forth in new textual bodies that project a post-modern understanding of the author as a historically and culturally contingent subjectivity constructed along the lines of gender, sexual orientation, class, and nationality. Laura E. Savu is a lecturer at the University of Bucharest.
"May be the best book ever written about jazz."—David Thomson, Los Angeles Times In eight poetically charged vignettes, Geoff Dyer skillfully evokes the music and the men who shaped modern jazz. Drawing on photos, anecdotes, and, most important, the way he hears the music, Dyer imaginatively reconstructs scenes from the embattled lives of some of the greats: Lester Young fading away in a hotel room; Charles Mingus storming down the streets of New York on a too-small bicycle; Thelonious Monk creating his own private language on the piano. However, music is the driving force of But Beautiful, and wildly metaphoric prose that mirrors the quirks, eccentricity, and brilliance of each musician's style.
Mordantly funny, thought-provoking travel essays, from the acclaimed author of Out of Sheer Rage and “one of our most original writers” (New York Magazine). This isn’t a self-help book; it’s a book about how Geoff Dyer could do with a little help. In these genre-defying tales, he travels from Amsterdam to Cambodia, Rome to Indonesia, Libya to Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert, floundering in a sea of grievances, with fleeting moments of transcendental calm his only reward for living in a perpetual state of motion. But even as he recounts his side-splitting misadventures in each of these locales, Dyer is always able to sneak up and surprise you with insight into much more serious matters. Brilliantly riffing off our expectations of external and internal journeys, Dyer welcomes the reader as a companion, a fellow perambulator in search of something and nothing at the same time.
Fascinating, wide-ranging, hugely knowledgeable - an indispensable guide and a beguiling education William Boyd Packed with insights and advice - just the inspiration to start writing! Jenny Uglow Everyone has a story. This book shows how the best writers tell them, and offers advice on how to tell them yourself. Biographers Sally Cline and Carole Angier teach life writing - an area of creative writing that is exploding in popularity - at the world-famous Arvon Foundation. They have distilled the essence of their popular course on memoir, autobiography and biography into this wide-ranging book. The Arvon Book of Life Writing offers three fascinating ways into the genre. First, reflections on their trade by the authors, exploring its special challenges: truth, memory, ethics, evidence and interpretation. Second, personal tips and tales from 32 top British and American life writers - autobiographers and memoirists, literary, sports and celebrity biographers; plus a critic, an agent, a literary editor, two novelists, and a ghost writer. Third, a practical guide, complete with exercises, designed for use in creative writing courses or by individual writers at home.
Following The Broken Estate, The Irresponsible Self, and How Fiction Works—books that established James Wood as the leading critic of his generation—The Fun Stuff confirms Wood's preeminence, not only as a discerning judge but also as an appreciator of the contemporary novel. In twenty-three passionate, sparkling dispatches—that range over such crucial writers as Thomas Hardy, Leon Tolstoy, Edmund Wilson, and Mikhail Lermontov—Wood offers a panoramic look at the modern novel. He effortlessly connects his encyclopedic, passionate understanding of the literary canon with an equally in-depth analysis of the most important authors writing today, including Cormac McCarthy, Lydia Davis, Aleksandar Hemon, and Michel Houellebecq. Included in The Fun Stuff are the title essay on Keith Moon and the lost joys of drumming—which was a finalist for last year's National Magazine Awards—as well as Wood's essay on George Orwell, which Christopher Hitchens selected for the Best American Essays 2010. The Fun Stuff is indispensable reading for anyone who cares about contemporary literature.
This extraordinary collection of letters sheds light on one of the most important postwar American poets and on a creative woman's life from the 1950s onward. Amy Clampitt was an American original, a literary woman from a Quaker family in rural Iowa who came to New York after college and lived in Manhattan for almost forty years before she found success (or before it found her) at the age of 63 with the publication of The Kingfisher. Her letters from 1950 until her death in 1994 are a testimony to her fiercely independent spirit and her quest for various kinds of truth-religious, spiritual, political, and artistic. Written in clear, limpid prose, Clampitt's letters illuminate the habits of imagination she would later use to such effect in her poetry. She offers, with wit and intelligence, an intimate and personal portrait of life as an independent woman recently arrived in New York City. She recounts her struggle to find a place for herself in the world of literature as well as the excitement of living in Manhattan. In other letters she describes a religious conversion (and then a gradual religious disillusionment) and her work as a political activist. Clampitt also reveals her passionate interest in and fascination with the world around her. She conveys her delight in a variety of day-to-day experiences and sights, reporting on trips to Europe, the books she has read, and her walks in nature. After struggling as a novelist, Clampitt turned to poetry in her fifties and was eventually published in the New Yorker. In the last decade of her life she appeared like a meteor on the national literary scene, lionized and honored. In letters to Helen Vendler, Mary Jo Salter, and others, she discusses her poetry as well as her surprise at her newfound success and the long overdue satisfaction she obviously felt, along with gratitude, for her recognition.
*Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism* *A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice* *A New York Times Top 10 Nonfiction Book of the Year, as selected by Dwight Garner* Geoff Dyer has earned the devotion of passionate fans on both sides of the Atlantic through his wildly inventive, romantic novels as well as several brilliant, uncategorizable works of nonfiction. All the while he has been writing some of the wittiest, most incisive criticism we have on an astonishing array of subjects—music, literature, photography, and travel journalism—that, in Dyer's expert hands, becomes a kind of irresistible self-reportage. Otherwise Known as the Human Condition collects twenty-five years of essays, reviews, and misadventures. Here he is pursuing the shadow of Camus in Algeria and remembering life on the dole in Brixton in the 1980s; reflecting on Richard Avedon and Ruth Orkin, on the status of jazz and the wonderous Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, on the sculptor ZadKine and the saxophonist David Murray (in the same essay), on his heroes Rebecca West and Ryszard Kapus ́cin ́ski, on haute couture and sex in hotels. Whatever he writes about, his responses never fail to surprise. For Dyer there is no division between the reflective work of the critic and the novelist's commitment to lived experience: they are mutually illuminating ways to sharpen our perceptions. His is the rare body of work that manages to both frame our world and enlarge it.
The first of Nobel Prize winner Peter Handke's novels to be published in English, The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick is a true modern classic that "portrays the...breakdown of a murderer in ways that recall Camus's The Stranger" (The New York Times). The self-destruction of a soccer goalie turned construction worker who wanders aimlessly around a stifling Austrian border town after pursuing and then murdering, almost unthinkingly, a female movie cashier is mirrored by Handke's use of direct, sometimes fractured prose that conveys "at its best a seamless blend of lyricism and horror seen in the runes of a disintegrating world" (Boston Sunday Globe).
Ten years ago, I was commissioned by a famous poet-editor to write a profile of Coetzee for a London review. At the time, the offer was a big break, and could have led to great things. I was fresh out of university and the editor was high-up at Faber and Faber, a talent scout for The New Yorker. But it never got written. Instead of providing a controlled and judicious survey of the oeuvre, I found myself obsessed by minor details on the outskirts of his work. The grim memoir Youth (2002) had just appeared and I wrote at length about the stockings full of clotting cheese that young “John” hangs up in his kitchen – proof of his extreme thriftiness, in life as in prose. The fish fingers that he fries in olive oil in a London garret, trying to emulate the Mediterranean diet of Ford Madox Ford: these finer points of domestic economy seemed laden with meaning. So this became my account of stalking the South African writer JM Coetzee on page and in the halls of academe.
A witty and addictively readable day-by-day literary companion. At once a love letter to literature and a charming guide to the books most worth reading, A Reader's Book of Days features bite-size accounts of events in the lives of great authors for every day of the year. Here is Marcel Proust starting In Search of Lost Time and Virginia Woolf scribbling in the margin of her own writing, "Is it nonsense, or is it brilliance?" Fictional events that take place within beloved books are also included: the birth of Harry Potter’s enemy Draco Malfoy, the blood-soaked prom in Stephen King’s Carrie. A Reader's Book of Days is filled with memorable and surprising tales from the lives and works of Martin Amis, Jane Austen, James Baldwin, Roberto Bolano, the Brontë sisters, Junot Díaz, Philip K. Dick, Charles Dickens, Joan Didion, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Keats, Hilary Mantel, Haruki Murakami, Flannery O’Connor, Orhan Pamuk, George Plimpton, Marilynne Robinson, W. G. Sebald, Dr. Seuss, Zadie Smith, Susan Sontag, Hunter S. Thompson, Leo Tolstoy, David Foster Wallace, and many more. The book also notes the days on which famous authors were born and died; it includes lists of recommended reading for every month of the year as well as snippets from book reviews as they appeared across literary history; and throughout there are wry illustrations by acclaimed artist Joanna Neborsky. Brimming with nearly 2,000 stories, A Reader's Book of Days will have readers of every stripe reaching for their favorite books and discovering new ones.
Brings Henry Miller back to the critical attention that his work deserves as well as making an original contribution to literary discussion on intertextuality.
Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. But so far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing... Dory is used to fighting hard and nasty. So when she wakes up in a strange scientific lab with a strange man standing over her, her first instinct is to take his head off. Luckily, the man is actually the master vampire Louis-Cesare, so he’s not an easy kill. It turns out that Dory had been working with a Vampire Senate task force on the smuggling of magical items and weaponry out of Faerie when she was captured and brought to the lab. But when Louis-Cesare rescues her, she has no memory of what happened to her. To find out what was done to her—and who is behind it—Dory will have to face off with fallen angels, the maddest of mad scientists, and a new breed of vampires that are far worse than undead…
Damon Galgut established himself as a writer of international caliber with the publication of The Good Doctor, which was sold in sixteen countries and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and the winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for the African region. The Quarry, written ten years ago but never published outside of South Africa, is another stark, intense, and crystalline novel in which human nature betrays itself against the desolate backdrop of rural South Africa. On a lonely stretch of road a man picks up a hitchhiker. The driver is a minister on his way to a new rural congregation; the passenger is a fugitive. When the minister realizes this, the fugitive kills him. He assumes his vestments and identity, only to discover that one of his first duties as the new minister is to preside over his victim's funeral. As the fugitive and the local police chief play a tense game of cat and mouse, culminating in a pursuit across the desolate veldt, Damon Galgut gives us a spare, devastating combat for man's most prized attribute: freedom.
Tom Stuart takes risks-- in war, in love, and in card games, from St. Louis to Mexico. And the hard-drinking, fast-talking steamboat captain-- who knows every shoal and eddy of the Rio Grande from the Big Bend to Brownsville-- has a dream of building a shipping empire that will span the windswept Gulf of Mexico to rich, exotic New Orleans. But this is a kind of gamble he's never faced before: with a woman to win, a woman to lose, and a dangerous man standing in the way. Now, Stuart is plunged into a fight that will engulf his very soul. And to the winner will go the mighty Rio Grande...
'Drama, betrayal, religion and sex, it's all here ... Fascinating' GUARDIAN 'Beautifully paced, impeccably written ... Don't miss it' INDEPENDENT 'Fraser is at her best here, lucid, authoritative and compassionate' SUNDAY TIMES 'Superbly researched ... the definitive work on the ill-fated queen' CATHOLIC HERALD Marie Antoinette's dramatic life-story continues to arouse mixed emotions. To many people, she is still 'la reine méchante', whose extravagance and frivolity helped to bring down the French monarchy; her indifference to popular suffering epitomised by the (apocryphal) words: 'let them eat cake'. Others are equally passionate in her defence: to them, she is a victim of misogyny. Antonia Fraser examines her influence over the king, Louis XVI, the accusations and sexual slurs made against her, her patronage of the arts which enhanced French cultural life, her imprisonment, the death threats made against her, rumours of lesbian affairs, her trial (during which her young son was forced to testify to sexual abuse by his mother) and her eventual execution by guillotine in 1793.
"SEDUCTIVE MAGIC...SPELLBINDING...Rice stages her scenes in a wide variety of times and locales, tapping deeply into the richest veins of mythology and history." --San Francisco Chronicle "STEAMY...FAST-PACED AND HUGELY ENGROSSING...Rice's title character--a seductive, evil, highly sexual and ultimately tragic creature--is fascinating." --The Miami Herald "BEHIND ALL THE VELVET DRAPES AND GOSSAMER WINDING SHEETS, THIS IS AN OLD-FASHIONED FAMILY SAGA....Rice's descriptive writing is so opulent it almost begs to be read by candlelight." --The Washington Post Book World "RICE SEES THINGS ON A GRAND SCALE...There is a wide-screen historical sweep to the tale as it moves from one generation of witches to the other." --The Boston Globe "EROTIC...EERIE...HORRIFYING...A tight tale of the occult in present-day New Orleans...Anne Rice is a spellbinding novelist.... LASHER quenches." --Denver Post A MAIN SELECTION OF THE LITERARY GUILD(c) From the Paperback edition.

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