'Traditional autobiography is composed after the experience has passed. I wrote this book in the very panic of the experiences that inspired it'. In his early thirties, Greg Baxter found himself in a strange place. He hated his job, he was drinking excessively, he was sabotaging his most important relationships, and he was no longer doing the thing he cared about most: writing. Strangest of all, at this time he started teaching evening classes in creative writing - and his life changed utterly. "A Preparation for Death" is a document of the chaos and discovery of that time and of the experiences that led Greg Baxter to that strange place - an extraordinarily intimate account of literary failure (and its consequences), personal decay, and redemption through reading, writing, and truth-telling. Studded with vivid, loving portraits of the people closest to him - his Austrian grandmother, who narrowly survived the Second World War; his mother and father, both described with heartbreakingly close attention; and, his cousin Walter, whose own demons provide a striking counterpoint to the author's - it is above all a stunningly vivid and searching self-portrait: possibly the most honest book you'll ever read.
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Greg Baxter was born in Texas in 1974. For the past ten years he has lived in Dublin, where he works as a journalist.Review:
Brilliant and wonderfully original ... Yes, this is a book about drinking and shagging. But rarely have these things been written about so well -- William Leith * Literary Review * Baxter is a serious, thoughtful writer, bent on emotional truth and artistry. He has written an unusual, provocative book. -- Suzi Feay * Financial Times * The triumph is in the steely courage it takes to put a life down with such uncompromising clarity -- Hugo Hamilton * Irish Times * Baxter tells his story with a captivating and rare honesty * Sunday Times * Brave, honest and propulsive * Metro * A sustained and gripping meditation on art and authenticity. ... one of those books about almost nothing, that manage to be about almost everything -- James Lasdun * Guardian * Brilliant - he writes well about everything ... Could be a classic * Evening Standard *
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Book Description Penguin, 2010. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand new copy. Bookseller Inventory # 035956
Book Description Penguin Ireland, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110141048433