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Letters to My Father
“I’ve finally pretty much decided what to write next—a novel based on Nat Turner’s rebellion,” twenty-six-year-old William Styron confided to his father in a letter he wrote on May 1, 1952. Styron would not publish his Pulitzer Prize–winning The Confessions of Nat Turner until 1967, but this letter undercuts those critics who later attacked the writer as an opportunist capitalizing on the heated racial climate of the late 1960s. From 1943 to 1953, Styron wrote over one hundred letters to William C. Styron, Sr., detailing his adventures, his works in progress, and his ruminations on the craft of writing. In Letters to My Father, Styron biographer James L. W. West III collects this correspondence for the first time, revealing the early, intimate thoughts of a young man who was to become a literary icon. Styron wrote his earliest letters from Davidson College, where he was very much unsure of himself and of his prospects in life. By the last few letters, however, he had achieved a great deal: he had earned a commission in the Marine Corps, survived World War II, published the novel Lie Down in Darkness (1951) and the novella The Long March (1953), and won the Prix de Rome. He had also recently married and was about to return to the United States from an expatriate period in Paris and Rome. The letters constitute a portrait of the artist as a young man. They read like an epistolary novel, with movement from location to location and changes in voice and language. Styron was extremely close to his father and quite open with him. His story is a classic one, from youthful insecurity to artistic self-discovery, capped by recognition and success. There are challenges along the way for the hero—poor academic performance, a syphilis scare, writer’s block, temporary frustration in romance. But Styron overcomes these difficulties and emerges as a confident young writer, ready to tackle his next project, the novel Set This House on Fire (1960). Rose Styron, the author’s widow, contributes a prefatory memoir of the senior Styron. West has provided comprehensive annotations to the correspondence, and the volume also has several illustrations, including facsimiles of some of the letters, which survive among Styron’s papers at Duke University. Finally, there is a selection of Styron’s apprentice fiction from the late 1940s and early 1950s. In all of American literature, no other extended series of such letters—son to father—exists. Letters to My Father offers a unique glimpse into the formative years of one of the most admired and controversial writers of his time.Show book
Yellow Earl - Almost an Emperor...
The 5th Earl of Lonsdale, Hugh Lowther, was perhaps the most famous English Lord in the world by the 1880s. His reckless spending of his vast fortune, his womanising, his love of fast-living, horses, hunting and boxing rocked the Edwardian aristocracy and has endeared him to risk-takers and bon-viveurs the world over ever since. As a penniless, wayward, younger son who had not expected to inherit, Hugh had joined a travelling circus for a year after leaving Eton, then moved on to America, spending months buffalo-hunting. He pawned his birthright to make his fortune from cattle ranching in Wyoming and was practically destitute when the scheme failed. But then his older brother unexpectedly died, Hugh took both the title and the vast fortune that went with it, and the rest is history: a close friend of Edward VII, a great public benefactor and an unforgettable showman in everything he did, his biography is a pacey, elegant and fascinating tribute to one of aristocracy’s greatest eccentri.Show book
Out of Paradise - A Hitchhiker's...
The journey follows my intrepid travels over the next 40 years and counting – through more than 35 countries around the world - doing exactly what I’ve wanted to do, where I’ve wanted to do it, when,and for all the right reasons. I’ve wined, dined, lived and traveled with superstars – Nina Simone to The Rolling Stones - Ray Charles to Little Feat - Spent 8 years in the music industry - Recorded the world’s first commercial digital recordings – Been in 6 movies – Skied the Matterhorn, the Zugspitz, Harris Mts. to the Himalayas – Sailed the Mediterranean – Murder in Mallorca - Shipwrecked off the Spanish Coast – Dived the Northern Marianas - Fiji to Phi Phi – I’ve seen the sunrise from Haleakala to Jomon Saki - Scaled Mt. Fuji – Traversed the Great Wall – 8 years throughout Europe - 20 years in Japan – 6 years New Zealand – 5 years China - most points in between - and now Thailand and Buddha and the Art of SUV Maintenance… I have a few tales to tell…Show book
The lives loves and deaths of...
The lives loves and deaths of splendidly unreasonable inventors is a brilliant analysis of 30 inventors who changed the world. Coller observes that personality type dictates the potential for success in bringing inventions to fruition. Few people have the full package of skills required to make a success of their idea and failure results when an individual who excels in one area of competence attempts to become all things. Coller focuses on the people, rather than the inventions, and the way in which they did or did not succeed in bringing their visions to fruition. On one level The lives loves and deaths of splendidly unreasonable inventors is a collection of fascinating stories; on another level these stories are an unconventional look at the inventive process that created such life-changing products as the telephone, the sewing machine, dynamite, the cinema, the safety razor and vulcanized rubber for tyres. Only historical figures are included, allowing Coller to examine the complete arc of their lives, from early ideas and experiments to success, and often eventual failure. Each of the stories, all of which are personal, colourful and packed with quirky nuggets of information, illustrates a particular aspect of the inventive personality.Show book
Slouching Towards Bethlehem -...
The “dazzling” and essential portrayal of 1960s America from the author of South and West and The Year of Magical Thinking (The New York Times). Capturing the tumultuous landscape of the United States, and in particular California, during a pivotal era of social change, the first work of nonfiction from one of American literature’s most distinctive prose stylists is a modern classic. In twenty razor-sharp essays that redefined the art of journalism, National Book Award–winning author Joan Didion reports on a society gripped by a deep generational divide, from the “misplaced children” dropping acid in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district to Hollywood legend John Wayne filming his first picture after a bout with cancer. She paints indelible portraits of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes and folk singer Joan Baez, “a personality before she was entirely a person,” and takes readers on eye-opening journeys to Death Valley, Hawaii, and Las Vegas, “the most extreme and allegorical of American settlements.” First published in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem has been heralded by the New York Times Book Review as “a rare display of some of the best prose written today in this country” and named to Time magazine’s list of the one hundred best and most influential nonfiction books. It is the definitive account of a terrifying and transformative decade in American history whose discordant reverberations continue to sound a half-century later.Show book
The Genesis of the Cornwall Air...
The Cornwall Air Ambulance project is a tale of the triumph of wishful thinking over an intransigent establishment. It is also a tale of the fortunate coming together of a small group of like-minded individuals who were persuaded by the author to agree to do something that no other part of the National Health Service had ever contemplated before - to create a novel new type of 'flying' ambulance. It would carry skilled paramedics and their equipment to the distant corners of the county and revolutionised emergency care. This book describes how the First Air Ambulance project emerged from an idea and became a reality. A portion of the sale price of each book sold or downloaded (min one pound) will be donated to the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust.Show book