On the heels of Boyd's Costa (formerly Whitbread) Award winner, Restless, an erudite and entertaining collection of essays and opinions from one of our generation's most talented writers.
"Plant one bamboo shoot―cut bamboo for the rest of your life." William Boyd's prolific, fruitful career is a testament to this old Chinese saying. Boyd penned his first book review in 1978―the proverbial bamboo shoot―and we've been reaping the rewards ever since. Beginning with the Whitbread Award–winning A Good Man in Africa, William Boyd has written consistently artful, intelligent fiction and firmly established himself as an international man of letters. He has done nearly thirty years of research and writing for projects as diverse as a novel about an ecologist studying chimpanzees (Brazzaville Beach), an adapted screenplay about the emotional lives of soldiers (The Trench, which he also directed), and a fictional biography of an American painter (Nat Tate). All the while, Boyd has been accruing facts and wisdom―and publishing it in the form of articles, essays, and reviews.
Now available for the first time in the United States, Bamboo gathers together Boyd's writing on literature, art, the movie business, television, people he has met, places he has visited and autobiographical reflections on his African childhood, his years at boarding school, and the profession of novelist. From Pablo Picasso to the Cannes Film Festival, from Charles Dickens to Catherine Deneuve, from mini-cabs to Cecil Rhodes, this collection is a fascinating and surprisingly revealing companion to the work of one of Britain's leading novelists.
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William Boyd was given the Costa Novel Award for his most recent novel, Restless. He is also the author of eight other novels, three collections of short stories, and thirteen screenplays that have been made into films. He has received several other awards, including the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. William Boyd lives with his wife in London and southwest France.From Publishers Weekly:
This noteworthy compendium of British writer Boyd's nonfiction work of the last 25 years is a cornucopia of critical opinion, memoir and social commentary. In addition to their insights on contemporary culture, many of these pieces illuminate aspects of Boyd's novels and short stories. In fact, Boyd (A Good Man in Africa) expresses surprise about how much autobiographical material has crept into his work. While some of his subjects will be of less interest to American than British readers, his critical essays on such icons as Woody Allen, Toni Morrison and Kurt Vonnegut, his reflections on the New York scene, American art and a Georgia town called Tallapoosa are refreshing opinions from a foreigner's perspective. He owns up to enjoying the hoax he perpetrated by inventing and assessing the paintings of a fictitious artist called Nat Tate, and there are lively accounts of how the duke and duchess of Windsor became characters in his novel Any Human Heart. Certain preoccupations become evident. No less than seven essays on Evelyn Waugh reflect Boyd's confessed obsession with and ambivalence toward the man and his work. At 500-plus pages, this volume is perfect for a bedside table, to be read for sustained excellence of observation and lucidity of prose. (Nov.)
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