FREELANCING; ADVENTURES OF A POET.

Williams, Hugo.

Published by London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1995.
ISBN 10: 0571175759 / ISBN 13: 9780571175758
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First edition, first printing with BOOKPLATE SIGNED BY AUTHOR on front free endpaper. xiv, 241 pages. Hardcover: H 22.25cm x L 13.75cm. White dust jacket rubbed with minor soiling, short tear at head of rear flap fold. Dark gray cloth. All three text block edges toned with leaves affected at margins; two small dark stains upon text block's top edge. Binding remains fairly crisp. Signed bookplate with printed statement of A Common Reader [bookstore], Pleasantville, New York. A very good- copy in a very good+ dust jacket. ISBN 0571175759. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Since beginning his 'Freelance' column in the Times Literary Supplement in 1988, poet and travel-writer Hugo Williams has visited Sarajevo, Central America, Jerusalem, Skyros, Portugal and Norwich. Part-time teaching jobs, literary festivals and writing courses have kept him both busy and bemused, but he has also found time to get a taste of roistering, cross-dressing, tight-rope walking, drug-scoring, fashion modelling and archaeology. Memories of his apprenticeship at the London Magazine and of Soho in the '70s, encounters with the likes of Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Gioconda Belli and the station master at Gospel Oak, news of a bogus 'Ted Hughes', evocations of the theatrical world of his parents and of his wife's French childhood - these are among the things that have occupied his constantly questing mind. The despatches collected in Freelancing amount to a piecemeal autobiography, in the course of which the author's Selected Poems are published, his mother dies, his wife inherits a chateau and he crashes his motorbike. Always elegantly turned, frequently hilarious, at times surprisingly poignant, Hugo Williams's column has earned him a devoted following among readers of the TLS - one due to be enlarged by the publication of this book.

Review: In this collection of essays from his column for the Times (of London) Literary Supplement, self-proclaimed freelance poet Hugo Williams is by turns wry and self-effacing, witty and tender. Accustomed to "being entertained for a living" as a television, theater, and film critic, Williams finds writing a regular column to be "like having a small excitable dog to look after. At first it is sweet. Gradually it develops a life of its own. It gets hungry. It gets sick. It gets bored. Sometimes it's all too much." Williams's accounts of the freelance life, combined with that of the itinerant academic (he teaches a writing workshop in the Dordogne one week, reads at the Jerusalem Poetry Festival another, makes a pilgrimage to Rupert Brooke's grave on the island of Skyros yet another), are highly amusing. "Coffee," writes Williams, "is the drug of the chronic freelance. It reproduces, for money, the state of anxious chaos that exists in his room, his brain, his work schedule, his bank account, and his love-life." On deadlines: "You have a little affair with them," says Williams, "fraught with betrayals, recriminations and brinkmanship."

When he's not pondering freelancing, creative writing, or book signings ("you sign everything in sight," his brother recommends, "that way they can't remainder them"), Williams tries his hand at cross-dressing, modeling, archaeology, and retrieving his love letters from his first girlfriend. After all, "everyone knows poets will go anywhere and do anything to get out of the house."

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Title: FREELANCING; ADVENTURES OF A POET.
Publisher: London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1995.

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Book Description London: Faber and Faber, 1995. Uncorrected Proof. "I had thought of calling the book 'All Over the Place', as the best description of its contents, One minute I'm in Central America with Judas Iscariot, the next I'm back at prep school. One minute I'm going out dressed as a woman, the next I'm staying home railing at 'Glucovision'. An aarticle about Bruce Chatwin is followed by one about haircuts. Another about teaching creative writing is followed quickly by one about trying to buy drugs." Pp.xiv/241. Pale green card covers, slightly rubbed with creases to corners. G+. Bookseller Inventory # 41704

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Book Description London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1995., 1995. First edition, first printing with BOOKPLATE SIGNED BY AUTHOR on front free endpaper. xiv, 241 pages. Hardcover: H 22.25cm x L 13.75cm. White dust jacket rubbed with minor soiling, short tear at head of rear flap fold. Dark gray cloth. All three text block edges toned with leaves affected at margins; two small dark stains upon text block's top edge. Binding remains fairly crisp. Signed bookplate with printed statement of A Common Reader [bookstore], Pleasantville, New York. A very good- copy in a very good+ dust jacket. ISBN 0571175759. Bookseller Inventory # JUN17-04261

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