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Bleaker House

Author: Nell Stevens
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385541562
Size: 36.55 MB
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When she was twenty-seven, Nell Stevens—a lifelong aspiring novelist—won an all-expenses-paid fellowship to go anywhere in the world to write. Would she choose a glittering metropolis, a romantic village, an exotic paradise? Not exactly. Nell picked Bleaker Island, a snowy, windswept pile of rock in the Falklands. Other than sheep, penguins, paranoia, and the weather, there aren’t many distractions, but as Nell soon discovers, total isolation and 1,085 calories a day are far from ideal conditions for literary production. With deft humor, this memoir traces her island days and slowly reveals the life and people she has left behind in pursuit of her writing. It seems that there is nowhere she can run—an island or the pages of her notebook—to escape the big questions of love, art, and, ambition.

Bleaker House

Author: Nell Stevens
Publisher: Knopf Canada
ISBN: 0345811763
Size: 68.70 MB
Format: PDF
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On a frozen island in the Falklands, with only penguins for company, a young would-be writer struggles to craft a debut novel...and instead writes a funny, clever, moving memoir that heralds the arrival of a fresh new literary talent. Twenty-seven-year-old Nell Stevens was determined to write a novel, but somehow life kept getting in the way. Then came an irresistible opportunity: she won a fellowship to spend three months, all expenses paid, anywhere in the world to research and write a book. Did she choose a glittering metropolis, a romantic village, an exotic paradise? Um, no. Nell chose Bleaker Island, a snowy, windswept pile of rock off the Falklands. There, in a guesthouse where she would be the only guest, she imagined she could finally rid herself of distractions and write her 2,500 words a day. In three months, surely she'd have a novel, right? It's true that there aren't many distractions on Bleaker, other than sheep, penguins, paranoia and the weather. But as Nell gets to work on her novel--a delightful Dickensian fiction she calls Bleaker House--she discovers that an excruciatingly erratic Internet connection and 1100 calories a day (as much food as she could carry in her suitcase, budgeted to the raisin) are far from ideal conditions for literary production. With deft humour, this memoir traces Nell's island days and slowly reveals details of the life and people she has left behind in pursuit of her art. They pop up in her novel, as well, as memoir and novel start to reflect one another. It seems that there is nowhere Nell can run--neither a remote island nor the pages of her notebook--to escape herself. A whimsical, entertaining, thought-provoking blend of memoir and travelogue, laced with tongue-in-cheek writing advice, Bleaker House brilliantly captures the hopes, fears, self-torture and humour of being young and yearning to make a creative life. With winning honesty and wit, Nell's race to finish her book emerges as a fascinating narrative in its own right.

Bleaker House

Author: Nell Stevens
Publisher: Picador
ISBN: 1760553786
Size: 11.33 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"My favourite debut of 2017 ... as funny as it is poignant" Lena Dunham When Nell Stevens was given the opportunity to spend three months in a location of her choice in order to write her novel, she was determined to rid herself of all distractions. So Nell decided to travel to Bleaker Island (official population: two) in the Falklands where she would write 2,500 words a day. But Bleaker House is not that novel. Instead this is a book about a young woman realising that the way to writing fiction doesn't necessarily lie in total solitude and a clear plan. Nor does it lie in a daily ration of 1085 calories, no means of contacting the outside world and a slow descent towards something that feels worryingly like madness . . . Hilariously funny, painfully honest, and beautifully observed, Bleaker House is part memoir, part travelogue, part story collection. It is an exploration of the narrow spaces between real life and fiction and, in the end, a book about failing to write a novel, but finally becoming a writer. MORE PRAISE FOR BLEAKER HOUSE "Bleaker House swirls text, subtext, and context into a single narrative, a mesmerizing literary levitation act ... lovely and thoughtful" Vogue "It's not only her fellow writers who will be captivated by Stevens's meditative, engagingly comic reflection on the three months she spent working on a novel" Harper's Bazaar "One of the most original, entertaining, and thought-provoking books I have ever read about the difficulty of writing a book" New Yorker "Fresh and spirited . . . A delightful literary debut" Kirkus "An inventive memoir about a young writer's struggle to find her literary footing" NPR

The Victorian And The Romantic

Author: Nell Stevens
Publisher: Doubleday
ISBN: 0385543514
Size: 54.25 MB
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History meets memoir in two irresistible true-life romances--one set in 19th century Rome, one in present-day Paris and London--linked by a bond between women writers a hundred years apart In 1857, English novelist Elizabeth Gaskell completed her most famous work: the biography of her dear friend Charlotte Brontë. As publication loomed, Mrs. Gaskell was keen to escape the reviews. So, leaving her dull minister husband and dreary provincial city behind, she set off with her daughters to Rome. There she met a dazzling group of artists and writers, among them the American critic Charles Eliot Norton. Seventeen years her junior, Norton was her one true love. They could not be together--it would be an unthinkable breach of convention--but by his side and amidst that splendid circle, Mrs. Gaskell knew she had reached the "tip-top point of [her] life." In 2013, Nell Stevens is embarking on her PhD--about the community of artists and writers living in Rome in the mid-19th century--and falling head over heels for a soulful American screenwriter in another city. As her long-distance romance founders and her passion for academia never quite materializes, she is drawn to Mrs. Gaskell. Could this indomitable Victorian author rescue Nell's pursuit of love, family and a writing career? Lively, witty, and impossible to put down, The Victorian and the Romantic is a moving chronicle of two women each charting a way of life beyond the rules of her time.

The Point Of Vanishing

Author: Howard Axelrod
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807075477
Size: 57.25 MB
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Named one of the best books of the year by Slate, Chicago Tribune, Entropy Magazine, and named one of the top 10 memoirs by Library Journal Into the Wild meets Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man—a lyrical memoir of a life changed in an instant and of the perilous beauty of searching for identity in solitude On a clear May afternoon at the end of his junior year at Harvard, Howard Axelrod played a pick-up game of basketball. In a skirmish for a loose ball, a boy’s finger hooked behind Axelrod’s eyeball and left him permanently blinded in his right eye. A week later, he returned to the same dorm room, but to a different world. A world where nothing looked solid, where the distance between how people saw him and how he saw had widened into a gulf. Desperate for a sense of orientation he could trust, he retreated to a jerry-rigged house in the Vermont woods, where he lived without a computer or television, and largely without human contact, for two years. He needed to find, away from society’s pressures and rush, a sense of meaning that couldn’t be changed in an instant. From the Trade Paperback edition.

A Wild Sheep Chase

Author: Haruki Murakami
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307762726
Size: 72.44 MB
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Coming this October: Killing Commendatore, the much-anticipated new novel from Haruki Murakami Quirky and utterly captivating, A Wild Sheep Chase is Murakami at his astounding best. An advertising executive receives a postcard from a friend and casually appropriates the image for an advertisement. What he doesn’t realize is that included in the scene is a mutant sheep with a star on its back, and in using this photo he has unwittingly captured the attention of a man who offers a menacing ultimatum: find the sheep or face dire consequences. Thus begins a surreal and elaborate quest that takes readers from Tokyo to the remote mountains of northern Japan, where the unnamed protagonist has a surprising confrontation with his demons.

The Husband Hunters

Author: Anne de Courcy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250164613
Size: 27.84 MB
Format: PDF
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A deliciously told group biography of the young, rich, American heiresses who married into the impoverished British aristocracy at the turn of the twentieth century – The real women who inspired Downton Abbey Towards the end of the nineteenth century and for the first few years of the twentieth, a strange invasion took place in Britain. The citadel of power, privilege and breeding in which the titled, land-owning governing class had barricaded itself for so long was breached. The incomers were a group of young women who, fifty years earlier, would have been looked on as the alien denizens of another world - the New World, to be precise. From 1874 - the year that Jennie Jerome, the first known 'Dollar Princess', married Randolph Churchill - to 1905, dozens of young American heiresses married into the British peerage, bringing with them all the fabulous wealth, glamour and sophistication of the Gilded Age. Anne de Courcy sets the stories of these young women and their families in the context of their times. Based on extensive first-hand research, drawing on diaries, memoirs and letters, this richly entertaining group biography reveals what they thought of their new lives in England - and what England thought of them.

Far North

Author: Marcel Theroux
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429959029
Size: 48.16 MB
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Far North is a 2009 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. My father had an expression for a thing that turned out bad. He'd say it had gone west. But going west always sounded pretty good to me. After all, westwards is the path of the sun. And through as much history as I know of, people have moved west to settle and find freedom. But our world had gone north, truly gone north, and just how far north I was beginning to learn. Out on the frontier of a failed state, Makepeace—sheriff and perhaps last citizen—patrols a city's ruins, salvaging books but keeping the guns in good repair. Into this cold land comes shocking evidence that life might be flourishing elsewhere: a refugee emerges from the vast emptiness of forest, whose existence inspires Makepeace to reconnect with human society and take to the road, armed with rough humor and an unlikely ration of optimism. What Makepeace finds is a world unraveling: stockaded villages enforcing an uncertain justice and hidden work camps laboring to harness the little-understood technologies of a vanished civilization. But Makepeace's journey—rife with danger—also leads to an unexpected redemption. Far North takes the reader on a quest through an unforgettable arctic landscape, from humanity's origins to its possible end. Haunting, spare, yet stubbornly hopeful, the novel is suffused with an ecstatic awareness of the world's fragility and beauty, and its ability to recover from our worst trespasses.

The Thing About Prague

Author: Rachael Weiss
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
ISBN: 1743438788
Size: 73.34 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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'I'd like to say that my decision to move to Prague permanently was based on something grand and noble - a desire to trace my roots, a sense of adventure, my literary heart yearning to burst into flower in the sweet soil of Old Europe - but I can't. The truth is that I had nothing better to do.' When Rachael Weiss left a good job, Thelma the cat and a normal life in Sydney for the romantic dream of being a writer in Prague she intended to stay forever. She lasted just three years, exasperated by the eccentricities of her ancestral city and the mind-boggling bureaucracy and customs of a country that values beer and potatoes above everything else. In this surprising and generous memoir full of warmth and unstoppable sociability, Rachael attempts to write her great novel, buy an apartment (any apartment!), dodge unscrupulous employers, and perhaps find love. She gets lost in the woods with a Kyrgyzstani software engineer who wants to eat humans, finds herself leading services at the Spanish synagogue with no real idea of what she was doing and spends long nights drinking beer with a colourful cast of crazy, warm and slightly mad locals and expats. Rich in absurdities and gentle humour, The Thing About Pragueis rife with insight, culture clashes, friendships and above all charm.

Liberty

Author: Virginia Woolf
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1473548551
Size: 38.80 MB
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Why should one half be free to live, while the other is doomed to watch silently from the sidelines? In this visionary collection, Virginia Woolf leads us on a transformative journey through the liberating powers of the mind. From an exploration of why women were barred from writing and under what conditions they might break free, to the solace derived from haunting London's streets, these essays and stories present Woolf at her most impassioned, rendering the pursuit of liberty one of life's most poetic adventures. Selected from the books A Room of One's Own, The Waves and Street Haunting and Other Essays by Virginia Woolf VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS. A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human Also in the Vintage Minis series: Love by Jeanette Winterson Home by Salman Rushdie Language by Xiaolu Guo Race by Toni Morrison