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Bury My Heart at W.H. Smith's: A Writing Life by Brian Aldiss (£9.50)Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton — 1990
Binding: Hardback in a Dust Wrapper. First Edition. [ISBN: 0340536616]
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently bruised at the spine ends with commensurate ruffling to the dust wrapper. Pages lightly age-tanned. Top edge of the text block spotted.
Description: From the cover: “A publisher drives down from London to see Brian Aldiss and I to argue that he should stay on the publisher’s list. Aldiss wants to move on. They dine together, in a small, quiet restaurant with a good wine list. Tom lost the argument. I paid the bill.
With such wry tales Aldiss adorns his story of a writing life, of his adventures with publishers, booksellers, agents, other authors and, above all, readers. For Aldiss has made his greatest reputation as a writer of imaginative science fiction, working in the footsteps of Mary Shelley and H. G. Wells. Science fiction is very much a form of literature in which the reader still counts.
Whether meeting a Cotswold poet of declamatory style or searching Jugoslavia in quest of black olives, Aldiss, as might be expected, has a number of good stories to tell. The book is, however, more than a string of anecdotes. It also discusses the complex questions of what makes and unmakes a writer, why so many writers are strange, and why literature remains necessary.
The story begins with Aldiss working in an Oxford bookshop where his first novel, The Brightfount Diaries, was set, and ends as he undergoes one of the most gruelling experiences of an author’s life: the publication of a new book — in this case his much-lauded contemporary novel, Forgotten Life.
Anyone at all who reads should buy this volume and help Aldiss through the painful processes of writing, which make him want to bury his heart in that mecca of literacy, W.H. Smith’s.”
Notes: Size: 8¾" x 5½". Blue boards with Silver titling to the Spine. 221 pages.
P&P: UK 1st £2.84. UK 2nd £2.52. EU Surface £3.86. EU Air £4.10. ROW Surface £3.86. ROW Air £6.72