'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'It seems that Chatwin is narrating his own life, from the false starts, unsatisfying jobs, unfinished studies and unpublished writing to the precipitate moves, the eruptions of boredom and the infatuations with people, with places, with ideas.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' Observershow more