The Nearest Thing to Life

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In this remarkable blend of memoir and criticism, James Wood has written a master class on the connections between fiction and life. He argues that, of all the arts, fiction has a unique ability to describe the shape of our lives, and to rescue the texture of those lives from death and historical oblivion. The act of reading is understood here as the most sacred and personal of activities, and there are brilliant discussions of individual works - among others, Chekhov's story 'The Kiss', W. G. Sebald's The Emigrants, and ...

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