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Under The Sun: The Letters of Bruce Chatwin

Under The Sun: The Letters of Bruce Chatwin

Paperback Vintage Books

By (author) Bruce Chatwin, By (author) Elizabeth Chatwin, By (author) Nicholas Shakespeare

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 560 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 38mm | 422g
  • Publication date: 3 October 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099466147
  • ISBN 13: 9780099466147
  • Edition statement: Trade Paperback.
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations, ports.
  • Sales rank: 274,430

Product description

Bruce Chatwin is one of the most significant British novelists and travel writers of our time. His books have become modern-day classics which defy categorisation, inspired by and reflecting his incredible journeys. Tragically, Chatwin's compelling narrative voice was cut off just as he had found it. 'Bruce had just begun' said his friend, Salman Rushdie, 'we saw only the first act'. But Chatwin left behind a wealth of letters and postcards that he wrote, from his first week at school until shortly before his death at the age of forty-eight. Whether typed on Sotheby's notepaper or hastily scribbled, Chatwin's correspondence reveals more about himself than he was prepared to expose in his books; his health and finances, his literary ambitions and tastes, his uneasiness about his sexual orientation; above all, his lifelong quest for where to live. Comprising material collected over two decades from hundreds of contacts across five continents, Chatwin's letters are a valuable and illuminating record of one of the greatest and most enigmatic writers of the twentieth century.

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Author information

Bruce Chatwin reinvented British travel writing with his first book, In Patagonia, and followed it with four other books, each unique and extraordinary. He died in 1989. Elizabeth Chatwin was born in the U.S.A. She came to London in 1961 to work at Sotheby's, where she met Bruce Chatwin. They married in 1965. She now keeps Black Welsh Mountain Sheep. Nicholas Shakespeare was born in Worcester in 1957 and grew up in the Far East and Latin America. He is the author of The Vision of the Elena Silves, winner of the Somerset Maugham and Betty Trask awards, The High Flyer, for which he was nominated as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists, The Dancer Upstairs, and most recently, Inheritance. His non-fiction includes In Tasmania, winner of the 2007 Tasmania Book Prize, and an acclaimed biography of Bruce Chatwin.

Review quote

"It seems that Chatwin is narrating his own life, from the false starts, unsatisfying jobs, unfinished studies and unpublished writing to the precipitate moves, the eruptions of boredom and the infatuations with people, with places, with ideas. These letters burst with affectionate salutations, explosions of rage, sudden enthusiasms" -- Paul Theroux Daily Telegraph "This collection should be cherished not least because it is Chatwin's last" New Statesman "The editors brief and beautifully pointed comments in the footnotes provide some of the most enjoyable moments in this book" Sunday Telegraph "A masterpiece of sympathetic and diligent editing, absolutely fascinating and larded with acerbic comments from Shakespeare's joint editor, Elizabeth Chatwin" Spectator "Every drop of Chatwin is worth it. The same exquisite observations found in his novels and the penetrating ideas found in his essays infuse even his most casual letters" Independent on Sunday

Back cover copy

'Every drop of Chatwin is worth it. The same exquisite observations found in his novels and the penetrating ideas found in his essays infuse even his most casual letters' Independent on Sunday Bruce Chatwin is one of the most significant British novelists and travel writers of our time. His books have become modern-day classics which defy categorisation, inspired by and reflecting his incredible journeys. Tragically, Chatwin’s compelling narrative voice was cut off just as he had found it. ‘Bruce had just begun’ said his friend, Salman Rushdie, ‘we saw only the first act’. But Chatwin left behind a wealth of letters and postcards that he wrote, from his first week at school until shortly before his death at the age of forty-eight. Whether typed on Sotheby’s notepaper or hastily scribbled, Chatwin’s correspondence reveals more about himself than he was prepared to expose in his books; his health and finances, his literary ambitions and tastes, his uneasiness about his sexual orientation; above all, his lifelong quest for where to live. Comprising material collected over two decades from hundreds of contacts across five continents, Chatwin’s letters are a valuable and illuminating record of one of the greatest and most enigmatic writers of the twentieth century. 'It seems that Chatwin is narrating his own life, from the false starts, unsatisfying jobs, unfinished studies and unpublished writing to the precipitate moves, the eruptions of boredom and the infatuations with people, with places, with ideas. These letters burst with affectionate salutations, explosions of rage, sudden enthusiasms' Paul Theroux, Daily Telegraph 'This collection should be cherished' New Statesman 'A masterpiece of sympathetic and diligent editing, absolutely fascinating and larded with acerbic comments from Nicholas Shakespeare's joint editor, Elizabeth Chatwin' Spectator 'As Under the Sun poignantly reveals, when he died Chatwin's extravagant writing gifts were gelling into a wider and deeper understanding of the human condition and the world we inhabit' Sunday Express 'Invaluable' Observer