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Creative Writing

Arts Reviews & How to Write Them

£4.99

Whether your passion is film, music, books, visual arts, or the stage, you can get closer to it as a reviewer and establish a career in one of the most influential roles open to a writer. A great review can be read by millions, and writing it calls for a high degree of skill. Based on a lifelong passion, packed into a few hundred words, and often written in less than an hour, a review makes heavy demands on a writer’s technique and experience. This book explains how to seize readers’ attention and how to be witty always, fascinating most of the time, and bitchy when you need to be.

 

Reviews from classic writers like Pauline Kael or Kenneth Tynan are contrasted with today’s hot names such as Mark Kermode and Stewart Maconie. The history of the critic is examined, including some of the groundbreaking groups who have shaped our culture—including Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, the French New Wave directors who founded Les Cahiers du Cinema, and London’s celebrated Modern Review. Interviews with successful journalists and commissioning editors from the NME and The Guardian about breaking into the field are also included.

How To Be A Poet

£14.99

As a natural follow-on to the 52 Project of 2014, this book aims to help poets taking the next step in developing, working and participating in the wider creative community as a writer. How to be a Poet combines practical advice and topical mini-essays that examine both the technical and creative dimensions of being a poet. It’s a no-nonsense manual where we’ve replaced the spanners with lots of ink, elbow grease and edits. At each step, we ask plenty of questions – what makes a poem tick over perfectly, how do we get it started when it stalls, and which warning lights should you never ignore?

Literary Lives

£4.99

Literary Lives is a book of decidedly unauthorised biographies by the acclaimed caricaturist Edward Sorel, who has long believed, that next to composers, writers are the craziest people in the world. The ten writers he has used to prove this thesis are Norman Mailer, George Eliot, Marcel Proust, Jean-Paul Sartre, Lillian Hellman, Leo Tolstoy, Bertolt Brecht, William Butler Yeats, Carl Jung and Ayn Rand. Although these comic strips are clearly meant to amuse, and the facts uncovered are sometimes hard to believe, each and every statement is absolutely true.

Muses

£4.60

Muses have fascinated for millennia, yet seldom receive as much exposure as the artistic geniuses they inspire. Of any age, descent or gender, muses enchant simply by being themselves. This innate capacity to inspire has been commonplace for many years, yet these catalysing forces are little understood. Offering a history of inspiration, Julia Forster lends a fresh perspective to what happened when Lewis Carroll played with Alice Liddell; when Rainer Maria Rilke dreamed of Salome; or when John Lennon wrote for Yoko Ono. An essential guide to how muses work.

Peter Mark Roget: The Man Who Became a Book

£4.50

Every day, thousands of people worldwide consult Roget’s Thesaurus. How many stop to consider why that endlessly useful reference book is so called? How many know anything about the man behind it? Nick Rennison’s biography reveals the full story of Roget’s involvement with the great issues and the great personalities of the 19th century and recounts the forgotten life behind one of the most famous of all reference books.

Plays and How to Produce Them

£6.50

Provides a basic introduction for all individuals and groups wishing to undertake the production of a play. It is aimed at the amateur enthusiast and anyone intending to pursue their interest further and undertake professional training. The author, who has over 30 years of experience in drama, takes the reader through the production of a play step by step, from setting up a drama group to the first night and entire run. The book can be read straight through or consulted as a handy reference work.

Translation as Transhumance

£10.00

Translation as Transhumance is half-memoir, half-philosophical treatise musing on translation’s potential for humanist engagement. One of the great contemporary French translators, the author has lived her life as a risk-taker.

 

Going back to her childhood in post-war France, she reflects on her origins as a translator. Gansel’s travels took her to important places at seminal points of the 20th century, such as her encounters with banned German writers in 1960s East Berlin. During the Vietnam war, she went to Hanoi to work on an anthology of Vietnamese poetry.

 

The book offers a fascinating account of wartime danger, hospitality and human kinship as the city under bombardment. Gansel is brilliant at conveying the sense of exile and alienation that is the price paid for the privilege of not dwelling exclusively in the comforting home of the mother tongue, as she explores her relationship with French, which she has come to know very differently because of her activities as a translator. Her lyrical, delicate text offers a profound engagement with humanist values and a meditation on communication.