Biography Novelists, Poets & Playwrights Books

Three Things Ia??d Tell My Younger Self (E-Story)

A very special FREE collection of advice for our younger selves, compiled by Joanna Cannon – the author of THREE THINGS ABOUT ELSIE and THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEPIf you could send a message to your younger self, what three things would you want to tell them? This inspiring, moving and frequently hilarious collection includes advice from – among others – authors, journalists, clergy, nurses and doctors; and their words will offer both solace and entertainment to readers at any milestone in life, from exam results and educational choices to love, health, friendship and careers. Here you will find the wise words of:Ignasi AgellSue ArmstrongHannah BeckermanAnn BissellDr Sue BlackFern BrittonWendy BurnJoanna CannonTracy ChevalierJulie CohenCharlotte CrayDr John CrichtonMiranda DickinsonSuzie DooréJanet EllisNathan FilerPatrick GaleSam GuglaniDr Helen-Ann HartleyKerry HudsonMandy HuxleyReverend Andrea JonesAdam KayErin KellyMr KiplingDr Kate LovettKaty MahoodAnna MazzolaLydia Elise MillenDame Helena MorrisseyHannah O’BrienFemi OyebodeLev ParikianNina PottellJonathan and Angela ScottAnita SethiLionel ShriverGraeme SimsionDr Laura VarnamKate Williams

Eminent Victorians

Eminent Victorians is a book by Lytton Strachey, consisting of biographies of four leading figures from the Victorian era. Its fame rests on the irreverence and wit Strachey brought to bear on three men and a woman who had until then been regarded as heroes: Cardinal Manning, Florence Nightingale, Thomas Arnold and General Gordon (although Nightingale is actually praised and her reputation was enhanced). The book shows its other subjects in a less than flattering light; for instance, the intrigues of Cardinal Manning against Cardinal Newman.

Autobiographical Voices: Race, Gender, Self-Portraiture (Reading Women Writing)

Adopting a boldly innovative approach to women’s autobiographical writing, Françoise Lionnet here examines the rhetoric of self-portraiture in works by authors who are bilingual or multilingual or of mixed races or cultures. Autobiographical Voices offers incisive readings of texts by Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Angelou, Marie Cardinal, Maryse Condé, Marie-Thérèse Humbert, Augustine, and Nietzsche.

Story: ...and how to write one

Writing a book or creating a good story is a skill. Learn the secrets here in this quick read that shows you the secrets of how authors compose their books.Learn the 10 stages of writing a book and what the seven basic plots are. At the end of the book is a special invitation to show you how to launch your own book successfully and become a writer for a successful fantasy series.

Transfigured World: Walter Pater's Aesthetic Historicism

Exploring the intricacy and complexity of Walter Pater’s prose, Transfigured World challenges traditional approaches to Pater and shows precise ways in which the form of his prose expresses its content. Carolyn Williams asserts that Pater’s aestheticism and his historicism should be understood as dialectically interrelated critical strategies, inextricable from each other in practice. Williams discusses the explicit and embedded narratives that play a crucial role in Pater’s aesthetic criticism and examines the figures that compose these narratives, including rhetorical tropes, structures of argument such as genealogy, and historical or fictional personae.

This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing Sample

An ebook-only sneak peek of New York Times bestselling Maisie Dobbs author Jaqueline Winspear's memoir, This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing (on sale November 10, 2020). Features an excerpt from the book and an interview with the author.   The New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs series offers a deeply personal memoir of her family’s resilience in the face of war and privation.   After sixteen novels, Jacqueline Winspear has taken the bold step of turning to memoir, revealing the hardships and joys of her family history. Both shockingly frank and deftly restrained, her story tackles the difficult, poignant, and fascinating family accounts of her paternal grandfather’s shellshock; her mother’s evacuation from London during the Blitz; her soft-spoken animal-loving father’s torturous assignment to an explosives team during WWII; her parents’ years living with Romany Gypsies; and Winspear’s own childhood picking hops and fruit on farms in rural Kent, capturing her ties to the land and her dream of being a writer at its very inception.   An eye-opening and heartfelt portrayal of a post-War England we rarely see, This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing chronicles a childhood in the English countryside, of working class indomitability and family secrets, of artistic inspiration and the price of memory.

Nabokov: The Mystery of Literary Structures

Vladimir Nabokov described the literature course he taught at Cornell as "a kind of detective investigation of the mystery of literary structures." Leona Toker here pursues a similar investigation of the enigmatic structures of Nabokov's own fiction. According to Toker, most previous critics stressed either Nabokov’s concern with form or the humanistic side of his works, but rarely if ever the two together. In sensitive and revealing readings of ten novels, Toker demonstrates that the need to reconcile the human element with aesthetic or metaphysical pursuits is a constant theme of Nabokov’s and that the tension between technique and content is itself a key to his fiction. Written with verve and precision, Toker’s book begins with Pnin and follows the circular pattern that is one of her subject’s own favored devices.

Getting Past Coetzee

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.

Writing Self, Writing Empire: Chandar Bhan Brahman and the Cultural World of the Indo-Persian State Secretary (South Asia Across the Disciplines)

A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s new open access publishing program for monographs. Visit to learn more.Writing Self, Writing Empire examines the life, career, and writings of the Mughal state secretary, or munshi, Chandar Bhan “Brahman” (d. c.1670), one of the great Indo-Persian poets and prose stylists of early modern South Asia.  Chandar Bhan’s life spanned the reigns of four different emperors, Akbar (1556-1605), Jahangir (1605-1627), Shah Jahan (1628-1658), and Aurangzeb ‘Alamgir (1658-1707), the last of the “Great Mughals” whose courts dominated the culture and politics of the subcontinent at the height of the empire’s power, territorial reach, and global influence.  As a high-caste Hindu who worked for a series of Muslim monarchs and other officials, forming powerful friendships along the way, Chandar Bhan’s experience bears vivid testimony to the pluralistic atmosphere of the Mughal court, particularly during the reign of Shah Jahan, the celebrated builder of the Taj Mahal.  But his widely circulated and emulated works also touch on a range of topics central to our understanding of the court’s literary, mystical, administrative, and ethical cultures, while his letters and autobiographical writings provide tantalizing examples of early modern Indo-Persian modes of self-fashioning.  Chandar Bhan’s oeuvre is a valuable window onto a crucial, though surprisingly neglected, period of Mughal cultural and political history.

Excellent Things in Women: A Memoir of Postcolonial Pakistan (Chicago Shorts)

Sometimes, only the most heartbreaking memories possess the capacity—in their elegiac immediacy—to take our breath away. With Excellent Things in Women, Sara Suleri offers the reader a delicately wrought memoir of life in postcolonial Pakistan. Suleri intertwines the violent history of Pakistan's independence with her own intimate experiences—relating the tumult of growing up female during a time of fierce change in the Middle East in the 1960s and ’70s. In the two selections presented here, “Excellent Things in Women” and “Meatless Days,” we watch as Suleri re-encounters the relationships that inform her voyage from adolescence to womanhood—with her Welsh mother; her Pakistani father, prominent political journalist Z. A. Suleri; and her tenacious grandmother, Dadi, along with her five siblings—as she comes to terms with the difficulties of growing up and her own complicated passage to the West.

Writing and Madness in a Time of Terror: #MeToo

Earning an MFA in writing at the New School, working at Rolling Stone magazine, and being courted by an editor at a prestigious publishing house--Afarin Majidi should be thrilled with the direction her life is taking as she turns thirty. Instead, she is spiraling into the depths of madness as she seeks love and acceptance in an Islamophobic society.After colleagues at the magazine drug and rape her, she's left with an unfinished novel. She turns to a former professor, James Lasdun, with whom she develops a toxic obsession. Majidi is the woman he calls "Nasreen" in his memoir, Give Me Everything You Have.Raw and honest, Writing and Madness in a Time of Terror is a haunting meditation on identity, misogyny, violence, and mental illness.

Creating the Empress: Politics and Poetry in the Age of Catherine II (Ars Rossica)

In Creating the Empress, Vera Proskurina examines the interaction between power and poetry in creating the imperial image of Catherine the Great, providing a detailed analysis of a wide range of Russian literary works from this period, particularly the main Classical myths associated with Catherine (Amazon, Astraea, Pallas Athena, Felicitas, Fortune, etc.), as well as how these Classical subjects affirmed imperial ideology and the monarch’s power. Each chapter of the book revolves around the major events of Catherine’s reign (and some major literary works) that give a broad framework to discuss the evolution of important recurring motifs and images.

The Incident at Naples (Chicago Shorts)

Born in Australia, novelist Shirley Hazzard first moved to Naples as a young woman in the 1950s to take up a job with the United Nations. It was the beginning of a long love affair with the city, in which the Naples of Pliny, Gibbon, and Auden constantly became reanimated by new experiences, as Hazzard was joined in her travels by her husband, the editor and critic Francis Steegmuller. In The Incident at Naples, a classic essay first published by the New Yorker, Steegmuller recollects on how he was, as a tourist to the city, robbed and injured and then treated in a series of hospitals. What can The Incident at Naples teach us? A town shadowed by both the symbol and the reality of Vesuvius can never fail to acknowledge the essential precariousness of life—nor, as Hazzard and Steegmuller discover, the human compassion, generosity, and friendship that are necessary to sustain it.

A Small Journal of Heroin Addiction: The true story of a Young Man's Journey from Darkness into Light

This book is not only a powerful, hauntingly evocative literary work (prose-poem) based on a true story, but also a potential inspiration to those struggling with heroin and other addictions.The desperate scribblings on scraps of paper and ratty notebooks by 27 year-old Robin Marchesi, a brilliant young English Oxford dropout, ultimately became an epic post-Beat era prose-poem of power and beauty. First, the troubled young man descended into the Orphic underworld of late 20th Century counter-culture (but no Eurydice). He hit his rock bottom in a Spanish Foreign Legion prison in Ceuta, North Africa, where he was held in 1979 after being apprehended in a drug deal gone wrong. After hitting bottom, he came up for light. That is the first (Part I: Los Rosales) of two journals he kept on the fly, mixing poetry and prose in an effusion of powerful feelings and ideas.Twenty years later (1999) by an amazing irony - long free of addiction and sober, and having become a productive, respected member of London's art and literary scene - Robin Marchesi had the opportunity and the duty to fly halfway around the world to rescue a 27 year old London acquaintance who had fallen into a similar drug habit (and danger) in San Francisco's notorious Mission district (which gives Part Two its title in this journal or pair of journals). Together, each of these scribbled journals documents a journey from darkness into light. Los Rosales refers not to the better-known Madrid neighborhood by that name, but to a rose garden tended by prisoners at the harsh Ceuta prison. Throughout this bleak journey you will find tender and refreshing moments of light as in that rose garden. The juxtaposition of dark and light elevates an already accomplished text into a work of heroic and lasting artistic and cultural value."When I laid eyes on the submitted ms in 1999, I immediately recognized not only a fellow poetic talent, but also a heroic, even epic, story of personal self-liberation from the nightmare of drug addiction. The prose-poetry format reminded me of the best of the earlier Beat poets like Alan Ginsberg (Howl, City Lights Press, San Francisco, 1965, intro by William Carlos Williams). It has the look and feel, the smell of rain and fog, the sweat and desperation, the danger and exhilaration, of Jack Kerouac's journeyings at certain points, and the ambience of Gregory Corso and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The bold mix of poetry and prose also evokes a ghost of James Joyce or T. S. Eliot."John T. Cullen, poet (writing as A. T. Nager, *Postcards to My Soul* and other works), publisher of Clocktower Books.