Writers on Books Loved and Lost, Overlooked, Under-Read, Unavailable, Stolen, Extinct, or Otherwise Out of Commission
Publication Date: August 21, 2001
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Seventy-four distinguished writers tell personal tales of books loved and lost-great books overlooked, under-read, out of print, stolen, scorned, extinct, or otherwise out of commission.
Compiled by the editors of "Brick: A Literary Magazine," Lost Classics""is a reader's delight: an intriguing and entertaining collection of eulogies for lost books. As the editors have written in a joint introduction to the book, "being lovers of books, we've pulled a scent of these absences behind us our whole reading lives, telling people about books that exist only on our own shelves, or even just in our own memory." Anyone who has ever been changed by a book will find kindred spirits in the pages of Lost Classics.
Each of the editors has contributed a lost book essay to this collection, including Michael Ondaatje on Sri Lankan filmmaker Tissa Abeysekara's Bringing Tony Home, a novella about a mutual era of childhood. Also included are Margaret Atwood on sex and death in the scandalous Doctor Glas, first published in Sweden in 1905; Russell Banks on the off-beat travelogue Too Late to Turn Back by Barbara Greene-the "slightly ditzy" cousin of Graham; Bill Richardson on a children's book for adults by Russell Hoban; Ronald Wright on William Golding's Pincher Martin; Caryl Phillips on Michael Mac Liammoir's account of his experiences on the set of Orson Welles's Othello, and much, much more.
Linda Spalding is the author of two novels, "Daughters of Captain Cook" and "The Paper Wife". Born in Kansas, she has lived in Mexico, Japan, and Hawaii. She lives now in Toronto, where she is the editor of "Brick: A Literary Journal."
Michael Redhill is the publisher and one of the editors of Brick, a literary magazine, and the author of the novel Martin Sloane, a finalist for the 2001 Giller Prize, and the short story collection Fidelity. He has also written four poetry collections, including Asphodel, published in 1997, and Light-Crossing, published in 2001. His most recent works for the theatre are "Goodness" and "Building Jerusalem," winner of a Dora Award.
Consolation, Redhill's second novel, was shortlisted for the 2007 Toronto Book Award. In an interview with the "Edmonton Journal," he described how he was inspired by a real photograph taken in thirteen parts in the winter of 1856 as part of a campaign to entice Queen Victoria to choose the city as the capital of pre-Confederation Canada: "I knew there was something in the pictures I wanted to write about. But the more I scribbled things down, the more I began to recognize a resonance between that dead city, no stitch of which exists anymore, and modern Toronto. The attitude and striving is still prevalent." He adds: "It's a strange, self-loathing city that at the same time is constantly striving to be world class and noticed. The city never tends to think about its own needs; it thinks about what other people might find impressive."
Michael Redhill lives with his partner and their two sons in France.
"From the Hardcover edition."
"Anecdotal, revealing, nostalgic, brief, insightful ... more than 70 nuggets of literary gold, a bibliophile's gleaming treasure trove.... Lost Classics is a warming and beautiful act of memory and homage." —Ottawa Citizen
“A delightful companion…wonderfully wide-ranging, charmingly designed and hugely entertaining.... [Lost Classics is] a collective conversation about reading that matters.” — The Globe and Mail