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Making an Elephant: Writing from Within

Swift, Graham

71 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0307270998 / ISBN 13: 9780307270993
Published by Alfred a Knopf Inc, Westminister, Maryland, U.S.A., 2009
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Kennedy Books (Jamestown, ND, U.S.A.)

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Fine/Fine Unread Copy Protected By Archival Brodart Cover. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 001221

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Making an Elephant: Writing from Within

Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc, Westminister, Maryland, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First American Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

In his first-ever work of nonfiction, the Booker Prize?winning author of such acclaimed novels as Waterland and Last Orders gives us a highly personal book: a singular and open-spirited account of a writer?s life.

As generous in its scope as it is acute in its observations, Making an Elephant brings together a richly varied selection of essays, portraits, poetry and interviews, full of insights into Graham Swift?s passions and motivations, and wise about the friends, family and other writers who have mattered to him over the years. Kazuo Ishiguro advises on how to choose a guitar; Salman Rushdie arrives for Christmas under guard; Caryl Phillips shares a beer with the author at a nightclub in Toronto. There are private moments with his father and with his own younger self, as well as musings on history, memory and imagination that illuminate the work of a writer who, in his fiction, regards it as ?a mark of achievement? when his own voice and presence vanish into his characters.

A journey through place and time, conversation, encounters and ideas, Making an Elephant brims with charm and candor, an alertness to experience and a true engagement with words?in short, with what it means to believe that writing and reading are an essential part of living.

Review:

"A sincere and affable appreciation of a life in letters. . . . An illuminating companion to Swift's career. . . . Shin[es] soft lights on his background, his influences, his travels, his friends and his aesthetic concerns."
--"Los Angeles Times"
"Pure indulgence--like hearing a favorite uncle tell tales of his marvelous youth."
--"O, The Oprah Magazine"
"A rewarding collection, with the same humanity and flair for detail that distinguishes Swift's fiction."
--"Times Literary Supplement" (London)
"Achingly beautiful. . . . When Swift is on, he's really on, intelligent, evocative and thought-provoking."
--"Minneapolis Star-Tribune"
"Swift's essays display the same quiet intensity as his fiction, a capacity for subtle storytelling with dark emotional undercurrents."
--"Financial Times"
"Engrossing. . . . Evocative. . . . Affecting. . . . One of his most finely rendered essays is a tribute to the publisher Alan Ross."
--"New York Times Book Review"
"Graham Swift distills emotion and incident into a hypnotic elixir. He is simply one of the most sure-handed, savvy and remarkable writers now at work."
--"The Washington Post Book World"
"Swift is surely one of England's finest living novelists."
--John Banville, "The New York Review of Books"
"Beautifully crafted. . . . Marvellously evocative. . . . Touching. . . . In "Making an Elephant, " Swift rewardingly places himself at the centre of a book."
--"The""Sunday Times" (London)
"Valuable. . . . You come away from these pieces feeling that [Swift] is a very good person to have as a friend: fond, understanding, fun, but above all discreet, a man you can trust."
--"The Washington Times"
"Swift is at his most movingly revelatory when discussing his work."
--"Sunday Telegraph" (London)
"A pleasure to read, from first word to last, "Making an Elephant "is sure to move writers and readers alike to join the legions of Graham Swift fans. . . . This veritable curio cabinet of detailed reminiscences makes for an extraordinary autobiographical look into the literary and otherwise ordinary life of an accomplished, though wryly self-deprecating novelist."
--"BookPage"
"Revealing, self-deprecating, full of fascinating details."
--"The Observer" (London)
"Swift brings his sharp eye, impeccable prose, and insouciance to his first nonfiction book. . . . Out from behind the scrim of fiction, Swift is highly entertaining, at once welcoming and teasing, clever and probing."
--"Booklist"
"Inspired and refreshing. . . . A polished, sophisticated collection of essays highlighting the relationship between writing, identity, and history. . . . It""provides a window into the life, times, and friendships of one of England's premier contemporary writers. To read this collection is to uncover a multi-dimensional, at times mesmerizing, man of letters. . . . Cause for celebration."
--"Rain Taxi"

A sincere and affable appreciation of a life in letters. . . . An illuminating companion to Swift s career. . . . Shin[es] soft lights on his background, his influences, his travels, his friends and his aesthetic concerns.
Los Angeles Times
Pure indulgence like hearing a favorite uncle tell tales of his marvelous youth.
O, The Oprah Magazine
A rewarding collection, with the same humanity and flair for detail that distinguishes Swift s fiction.
Times Literary Supplement (London)
Achingly beautiful. . . . When Swift is on, he s really on, intelligent, evocative and thought-provoking.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Swift s essays display the same quiet intensity as his fiction, a capacity for subtle storytelling with dark emotional undercurrents.
Financial Times
Engrossing. . . . Evocative. . . . Affecting. . . . One of his most finely rendered essays is a tribute to the publisher Alan Ross.
New York Times Book Review
Graham Swift distills emotion and incident into a hypnotic elixir. He is simply one of the most sure-handed, savvy and remarkable writers now at work.
The Washington Post Book World
Swift is surely one of England s finest living novelists.
John Banville, The New York Review of Books
Beautifully crafted. . . . Marvellously evocative. . . . Touching. . . . In Making an Elephant, Swift rewardingly places himself at the centre of a book.
The Sunday Times (London)
Valuable. . . . You come away from these pieces feeling that [Swift] is a very good person to have as a friend: fond, understanding, fun, but above all discreet, a man you can trust.
The Washington Times
Swift is at his most movingly revelatory when discussing his work.
Sunday Telegraph (London)
A pleasure to read, from first word to last, Making an Elephant is sure to move writers and readers alike to join the legions of Graham Swift fans. . . . This veritable curio cabinet of detailed reminiscences makes for an extraordinary autobiographical look into the literary and otherwise ordinary life of an accomplished, though wryly self-deprecating novelist.
BookPage
Revealing, self-deprecating, full of fascinating details.
The Observer (London)
Swift brings his sharp eye, impeccable prose, and insouciance to his first nonfiction book. . . . Out from behind the scrim of fiction, Swift is highly entertaining, at once welcoming and teasing, clever and probing.
Booklist
Inspired and refreshing. . . . A polished, sophisticated collection of essays highlighting the relationship between writing, identity, and history. . . . It provides a window into the life, times, and friendships of one of England s premier contemporary writers. To read this collection is to uncover a multi-dimensional, at times mesmerizing, man of letters. . . . Cause for celebration.
Rain Taxi"

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