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Living With a Writer
 
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Living With a Writer
Edited by Dale Salwak
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
11 Aug 2004
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£26.50
|Hardback Print on Demand
  
9781403904768
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

John Updike, Margaret Drabble, Nadine Gordimer, Edmund Morris and Ann Thwaite are among the twenty-eight distinguished contributors of original essays to this landmark volume on the pleasures and problems of living with a writer. Husbands and wives, other relatives and friends - all have a say about this oftentimes humourous, many times saddening, but always fascinating subject.

What is it like to live with a writer? What makes the arrangement work or not work, and why? How does life at home contribute to the creative process? What is the cost of a masterpiece or a caring relationship? In one way or another, all authors have asked these important questions - though not necessarily of someone who might be able to answer with such insight and candor. So frankly inquiring, so laden with experience, these essays offer a rare and wonderful opportunity to peer into and demystify the private lives of some of the very best contemporary novelists, poets, biographers, scholars, editors and collaborators.


Description

John Updike, Margaret Drabble, Nadine Gordimer, Edmund Morris and Ann Thwaite are among the twenty-eight distinguished contributors of original essays to this landmark volume on the pleasures and problems of living with a writer. Husbands and wives, other relatives and friends - all have a say about this oftentimes humourous, many times saddening, but always fascinating subject.

What is it like to live with a writer? What makes the arrangement work or not work, and why? How does life at home contribute to the creative process? What is the cost of a masterpiece or a caring relationship? In one way or another, all authors have asked these important questions - though not necessarily of someone who might be able to answer with such insight and candor. So frankly inquiring, so laden with experience, these essays offer a rare and wonderful opportunity to peer into and demystify the private lives of some of the very best contemporary novelists, poets, biographers, scholars, editors and collaborators.


Reviews

'For the first time, spouses, children and parents of writers have collaborated in compiling their experiences of living with a scribe, remembrances which reveal their frustrations, irritations and sheer madness of sharing a roof with an ink-stained genius.' - Amelia Hill, The Observer
'Pleasing and interesting...' - Literary Review

'The range does the book credit...we hear as much about the satisfaction of mutual support, the thrill of being the first to read a new thing, and the fascination of watching experience turn into words, as we do about the misery of Emma Hardy...or what Colt calls the unions that 'could only end in alcoholism and madness (the Fitzgeralds), black eyes and hurled martini glasses (McCarthy and Wilson), or separation and suicide (Hughes and Plath)''. - Andrew Motion, The Guardian

'...[includes] a series of touching accounts of domestic happiness...[although] the popular image of writers as selfish brutes is affirmed in the shorter section of the book, 'The Problems', which features failed marriages and disastrous relationships' - Jessica Mann, The Literary Review

'Everyone agrees that writers' lives are internal and invisible in certain crucial ways, and most people also suppose that the parts which do show are predictably unpleasant... [However, in this book] we hear as much about the satisfaction of mutual support, the thrill of being the first to read a new thing, and the fascination of watching experience turn into words, as we do about the misery...' - Andrew Motion, Guardian Online

'[F]or every account that supports the perception that writers are self-centered, moody, brooding enigmas of petulant genius, there are uplifting tales of support, nurturing and inspiration' - Nicholas A. Basbanes, LA Times

'The editor of this intriguing little medley asked a number of writers to write something about living with a writer...the brief has been liberally interpreted, which makes it all the more interesting...The writer's inner self is what it's all about, of course, and this is precisely why Living with a Writer is (an) enjoyably prurient read. Get stuck in.' - The Evening Standard

'Conveys a sense of the writer's world.' - Times Higher Education Supplement

'Accomplished writers who read those words will almost certainly concede that they recognize themselves. Non-writers who live with writers will experience twinges of recognition, too. Bless them all, including my wife and children, who put up with so much.' - Steve Weinberg , The Writer


Contents

Preface; D.Salwak
Acknowledgements
Notes on the Contributors
PART ONE: THE PLEASURES
The Spouse in the House; M.Bradbury
Living with Writers; A.Thwaite
Lady Naipaul; P.Theroux
Lady of Letters: Living with Sylvia Jukes Morris; E.Morris
Yesterday's News; M.Holroyd
The Open Door; M.Drabble
Harbour and Voyage: The Marriage of Ann and Bill Golding, 1939-1993; J.Carver
C. P. Snow and Pamela Hansford Johnson at Home; J.Halperin
Hong Kong Time; G.H.Colt
Writers as Progenitors and Offspring; J.Updike
My Grandmother's Only Son; D.Updike
I am Two Fools - Or Home Alone; C.Aird
Margaret; B.Aldiss
Living with Julian; K.Symons
When Writing Entered My Mind; F.H.Bachelder
Pen and Ink: The Life and Work of Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy; J.Berg
PART TWO: THE PROBLEMS
Forget She (or He) is a Writer, and All May Be Well; J.Bayley
Getting Along with Myself; N.Gordimer
The Pantomime Horse; A.Craig
Can This Collaboration Be Saved?; A.Bernays & J.Kaplan
Maugham's Marriage; J.Meyers
Being Two of Us; M.A. Caws
The Mystery of the Vanishing Wife; L.Young
Room for One; B.Fussell
Peter Levi: A Corresponding Friendship; R.Rollison
Damned by Dollars: Moby-Dick and the Price of Genius; H.Parker
A Perilous Art; D.Salwak
Related Works
Index


Authors

DALE SALWAK is Professor of English at Southern California's Citrus College. His publications include The Literary Biography: Problems and Solutions (1996), A Passion for Books (Macmillan, 1999) and studies of Kingsley Amis, John Braine, A. J. Cronin, Philip Larkin, Barbara Pym, Carl Sandburg, Anne Tyler and John Wain. He is currently completing a memoir on thirty years of teaching.