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Pushing Boulders tells the extraordinary story of a Cape Town man born in an old police station during apartheid, who struggles to overcome immense political and social odds to become one of the first people ever to graduate with master’s degrees from five of the world’s top universities, including Harvard, MIT and Oxford. At the height of his successful international business career, at the age of 40, he foregoes wealth and status, sells his Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Jaguar and other luxury cars, to pursue his mission to use education to enable and inspire others to thrive.
With frequent references to his diaries and letters, the book is written with frankness and candour so often absent in autobiographies. It offers readers a rare insight into the life of a uniquely talented and accomplished person, revealing his doubts and heartaches as well as the secrets to his immense ability to pick himself up and soldier on. The book reveals how his compassion for others changed his life and gave it purpose.
Pushing Boulders is a story about pursuing dreams. It shows that, with self-belief and resilience, you can push aside the boulders that block your path to success. It tells a powerful and inspirational story that will leave you believing that even your most outrageous dreams are possible, and leave you energised to begin pursuing them.
America's foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging. What is race and why does it matter? What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid? Drawing on her Norton Lectures, Toni Morrison takes up these and other vital questions bearing on identity in The Origin Of Others.
In her search for answers, the novelist considers her own memories as well as history, politics, and especially literature. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Camara Laye are among the authors she examines. Readers of Morrison's fiction will welcome her discussions of some of her most celebrated books: Beloved, Paradise, and A Mercy. Morrison also writes about nineteenth-century literary efforts to romance slavery, contrasting them with the scientific racism of Samuel Cartwright and the banal diaries of the plantation overseer and slaveholder Thomas Thistlewood. She looks at configurations of blackness, notions of racial purity, and the ways in which literature employs skin colour to reveal character or drive narrative.
Expanding the scope of her concern, she also addresses globalization and the mass movement of peoples in this century. National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Morrison's most personal work of nonfiction to date.
Luise White brings the force of her historical insight to bear on the many war memoirs published by white soldiers who fought for Rhodesia during the 1964–1979 Zimbabwean liberation struggle.
In the memoirs of white soldiers fighting to defend white minority rule in Africa long after other countries were independent, the author finds a robust and contentious conversation about race, difference, and the war itself. These are writings by men who were ambivalent conscripts, generally aware of the futility of their fight—not brutal pawns flawlessly executing the orders and parroting the rhetoric of a racist regime. Moreover, most of these men insisted that the most important aspects of fighting a guerrilla war—tracking and hunting, knowledge of the land and of the ways of African society—were learned from black playmates in idealized rural childhoods.
In these memoirs, African guerrillas never lost their association with the wild, even as white soldiers boasted of bringing Africans into the intimate spaces of regiment and regime.
"An exhilarating romp through Orwell's life and times and also through the life and times of roses." -Margaret Atwood "A captivating account of Orwell as gardener, lover, parent, and endlessly curious thinker." -Claire Messud, Harper's "Nobody who reads it will ever think of Nineteen Eighty-Four in quite the same way."-Vogue A lush exploration of roses, pleasure, and politics, and a fresh take on George Orwell as an avid gardener whose political writing was grounded in his passion for the natural world "In the year 1936 a writer planted roses." So begins Rebecca Solnit's new book, a reflection on George Orwell's passionate gardening and the way that his involvement with plants, particularly flowers, and the natural world illuminates his other commitments as a writer and antifascist, and the intertwined politics of nature and power. Sparked by her unexpected encounter with the surviving roses he planted in 1936, Solnit's account of this understudied aspect of Orwell's life explores his writing and his actions-from going deep into the coal mines of England, fighting in the Spanish Civil War, critiquing Stalin when much of the international left still supported him (and then critiquing that left), to his analysis of the relationship between lies and authoritarianism. Through Solnit's celebrated ability to draw unexpected connections, readers encounter the photographer Tina Modotti's roses and her Stalinism, Stalin's obsession with forcing lemons to grow in impossibly cold conditions, Orwell's slave-owning ancestors in Jamaica, Jamaica Kincaid's critique of colonialism and imperialism in the flower garden, and the brutal rose industry in Colombia that supplies the American market. The book draws to a close with a rereading of Nineteen Eighty-Four that completes her portrait of a more hopeful Orwell, as well as a reflection on pleasure, beauty, and joy as acts of resistance.
'This is a marvellous, endlessly illuminating book ... It doesn't go on the shelf alongside other critics; it goes on the shelf alongside Dickens' Howard Jacobson Discover the tricks of a literary master in this essential guide to the fictional world of Charles Dickens. From Pickwick to Scrooge, Copperfield to Twist, how did Dickens find the perfect names for his characters? What was Dickens's favourite way of killing his characters? When is a Dickens character most likely to see a ghost? Why is Dickens's trickery only fully realised when his novels are read aloud? In thirteen entertaining and wonderfully insightful essays, John Mullan explores the literary machinations of Dickens's eccentric genius, from his delight in cliches to his rendering of smells and his outrageous use of coincidences. A treat for all lovers of Dickens, this essential companion puts his audacity, originality and brilliance on full display.
Senshi was born in 964 and died in 1035, in the Heian period of Japanese history (794-1185). Most of the poems discussed here are what may loosely be called Buddhist poems, since they deal with Buddhist scriptures, practices, and ideas. For this reason, most of them have been treated as examples of a category or subgenre of waka called Shakkyoka, ""Buddhist poems."" Yet many Shakkyoka are more like other poems in the waka canon than they are unlike them. In the case of Senshi's ""Buddhist poems,"" their language links them to the traditions of secular verse. Moreover, the poems use the essentially secular public literary language of waka to address and express serious and relatively private religious concerns and aspirations. In reading Senshi's poems, it is as important to think about their relationship to the traditions and conventions of waka and to other waka texts as it is to think about their relationship to Buddhist thoughts, practices, and texts. The Buddhist Poetry of the Great Kamo Priestess creates a context for the reading of Senshi's poems by presenting what is known and what has been thought about her and them. As such, it is a vital source for any reader of Senshi and other literature of the Heian period.
'One for your Christmas list ... A feast of Dickensian knowledge' The Times 'This is a marvellous, endlessly illuminating book ... It doesn't go on the shelf alongside other critics; it goes on the shelf alongside Dickens' Howard Jacobson Discover the tricks of a literary master in this essential guide to the fictional world of Charles Dickens. From Pickwick to Scrooge, Copperfield to Twist, how did Dickens find the perfect names for his characters? What was Dickens's favourite way of killing his characters? When is a Dickens character most likely to see a ghost? Why is Dickens's trickery only fully realised when his novels are read aloud? In thirteen entertaining and wonderfully insightful essays, John Mullan explores the literary machinations of Dickens's eccentric genius, from his delight in cliches to his rendering of smells and his outrageous use of coincidences. A treat for all lovers of Dickens, this essential companion puts his audacity, originality and brilliance on full display.
Homecoming, haunting, nostalgia, desire: these are some of the themes evoked by the beguiling motif of the lighted window in literature and art. In this innovative combination of place-writing, memoir and cultural study, Peter Davidson takes us on atmospheric walks through nocturnal cities in Britain, Europe and North America, and revisits the field paths of rural England. Surveying a wide range of material, the book extends, chronologically, from early romantic painting to contemporary fiction, and geographically, from the Low Countries to Japan. It features familiar lighted windows in English literature (in the works of poets such as Thomas Hardy and Matthew Arnold and in the novels of Virginia Woolf, Arthur Conan Doyle and Kenneth Grahame) and examines the painted nocturnes of James Whistler, John Atkinson Grimshaw and the ruralist Samuel Palmer. It also considers Japanese prints of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; German romanticism in painting, poetry and music; Proust and the painters of the French belle epoque; Rene Magritte's 'L'Empire des Lumieres'; and North American painters such as Edward Hopper and Linden Frederick. By interpreting the interactions of art, literature and geography around this evocative motif, Peter Davidson shows how it has inspired an extraordinary variety of moods and ideas, from the romantic period to the present day.
SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'If you want to write a novel or a script, read this book' Sunday Times 'The best book on the craft of storytelling I've ever read' Matt Haig 'Rarely has a book engrossed me more, and forced me to question everything I've ever read, seen or written. A masterpiece' Adam Rutherford Why stories make us human and how to tell them better. There have been many attempts to understand what makes a good story - but few have used a scientific approach. In this incisive, thought-provoking book, award-winning writer Will Storr demonstrates how master storytellers manipulate and compel us. Applying dazzling psychological research and cutting-edge neuroscience to the foundations of our myths and archetypes, he shows how we can use these tools to tell better stories - and make sense of our chaotic modern world. INCLUDES NEW MATERIAL.
First published in 1911, Ameen Rihani's Book of Khalid is widely considered the first Arab American novel. The semiautobiographical work chronicles the adventures of two young men, Khalid and Shakib, who leave Lebanon for the United States to find work as peddlers in Lower Manhattan. After mixed success at immersing themselves in American culture, the two return to the Middle East at a time of turmoil following the Young Turk Revolution in the Ottoman Empire. Khalid attempts to integrate his Western experiences with Eastern spiritual values, becoming an absurd, yet all too serious, combination of political revolutionary and prophet. The Book of Khalid offers readers a heady mix of picaresque, philosophical dialogue, and immigrant story. In this critical edition, Fine includes the text of the original 1911 edition, a substantial glossary, and supplemental essays by leading Rihani scholars. Demonstrating the reach and significance of the work, these essays address a variety of themes, including Rihani's creative influences, philosophical elements, and the historical context of the novel. Attracting a new generation of readers to Rihani's innovative work, this edition reveals his continued resonance with contemporary Arab American literature.
A collection of magical Italian folk and fairy tales-most in English for the first time The Pomegranates and Other Modern Italian Fairy Tales presents twenty magical stories published between 1875 and 1914, following Italy's political unification. In those decades of political and social change, folklorists collected fairy tales from many regions of the country while influential writers invented original narratives in standard Italian, drawing on traditional tales in local dialects, and translated others from France. This collection features a range of these entertaining jewels from such authors as Carlo Collodi, most celebrated for the novel Pinocchio, and Domenico Comparetti, regarded as the Italian Grimm, to Grazia Deledda, the only Italian woman to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature. With one exception, all of these tales are appearing in English for the first time. The stories in this volume are linked by themes of metamorphosis: a man turns into a lion, a dove, and an ant; a handsome youth emerges from a pig's body; and three lovely women rise out of the rinds of pomegranates. There are also more introspective transformations: a self-absorbed princess learns about manners, a melancholy prince finds joy again, and a complacent young woman discovers gratitude. Cristina Mazzoni provides a comprehensive introduction that situates the tales in their cultural and historical context. The collection also includes period illustrations and biographical notes about the authors. Filled with adventures, supernatural and fantastic events, and brave and flawed protagonists, The Pomegranates and Other Modern Italian Fairy Tales will delight, surprise, and astonish.
Finalist for the 2020 National Jewish Book Awards A deeply felt, beautifully crafted meditation on friendship and loss in the vein of A Year of Magical Thinking, and a touching portrait of Philip Roth from his closest friend. When I entered the examining room twenty minutes after our arrival at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Philip said, "No more books." Thus he announced his retirement. So begins Benjamin Taylor's Here We Are, the unvarnished portrait of his best friend and one of America's greatest writers. Philip Roth's place in the canon is secure, but less clear is what the man himself was like. In Benjamin Taylor's beautifully constructed memoir, we see Roth as a mortal man, experiencing the joys and sorrows of aging, reflecting on his own writing, and doing something we all love to do: passing the time in the company of his closest friend. An ode to friendship and its wondrous ability to brighten our lives in unexpected ways, Here We Are pays tribute to a friend in the way that only a writer can. Roth encouraged Taylor to write this book, giving him explicit instructions not to sugarcoat anything and not to publish it until after his death. Taylor's memoir will be the definitive account of Philip Roth as he lived for years to come.
In Taiwanese writer Lo Yi-Chin's Faraway, a fictionalized version of the author finds himself stranded in mainland China attempting to bring his comatose father home. Lo's father had fled decades ago, abandoning his first family to start a new life in Taiwan. After travel between the two countries becomes politically possible, he returns to visit the son he left behind, only to suffer a stroke. The middle-aged protagonist ventures to China, where he embarks on a protracted struggle with the byzantine hospital regulations while dealing with relatives he barely knows. Meanwhile, back in Taiwan, his wife is about to give birth to their second child. Isolated in a foreign country, Lo mulls over his life, dwelling on his difficult relationship with his father and how becoming a father himself has changed him. Faraway is a powerful meditation on the nature of family and the many ways blood can both unite and divide us. Lo's depiction of family dynamics and fraught politics contains a keen sense of irony and sensitivity to everyday absurdity. He offers a deft portrayal of the rift between China and Taiwan through an intimate view of a father-son relationship that bridges this divide. One of the most celebrated writers in Taiwan, Lo has been greatly influential throughout the Chinese-speaking world, but his work has not previously been translated into English. Jeremy Tiang's translation captures Lo's distinctive voice, mordant wit, and nuanced portrayal of Taiwanese culture.
Feeling down in the mouth? Then brighten your day with Peeing is Relieving! It's packed with pithy one-liners, like: Fame is when reporters beg to interview your cat and: The British Empire ceased when butlers stopped ironing the morning paper. As the perfect gift book, Robert Eddison's off-the-wall treasure house of original aphorisms is peppered with rib-tickling illustrations and state-of-the-art Quick Response codes. Scan them with your phone and up I pop to have a laugh with you! Whether you're on the loo or on your private jet, this is a must-read book of witty maxims by the world's leading aphorist. Enjoy!
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