Reality versus fiction is at the heart of the current literary debate. We live in a world of docu-drama, the ‘real life’ story. Works of art, novels, films, are frequently bolstered by reference to the autobiography of the creator, or to underlying ‘fact.’
These selected essays give real insight into the William Hazlitt's character and Duncan Wu’s Introduction and supplementary notes throw light upon his thinking and courage.
This new selection of essays by Oscar Wilde show-cases the varied aspects of his genius. For Pearson, the biographer, the essays and dialogues illustrate the many faces of Wilde’s extraordinary character: his aphorisms, wit, romancer, talker, lecturer, humanist and scholar. The ideas expressed remain remarkably relevant to modern readers, whilst his popularity remains undiminished.
Walking and writing have always gone together. Think of the poets who walk out a rhythm for their lines and the novelists who put their characters on a path. But the best insights, the deepest and most joyous examinations of this simple activity are to be found in non-fiction – in essays, travelogues and memoir.
This unique travel book on Brazil by AJ Lees tells the true Colonel Fawcett story. Colonel Percy Fawcett was a British explorer, who in 1925 had gone in search of the lost city of Z in the Amazon, but never returned. Part Amazon travelogue, part memoir, Lees paints a portrait of an elusive Brazil and a flawed explorer whose doomed mission ruined lives.
From Aristophanes to Zeffirelli, from Gerard Depardieu to Mae West, in Break a Leg Gyles Brandreth introduces Michèle Brown, who has assembled a world-beating cast, including actors, dramatists, directors and even critics (‘A man who knows the way but cannot drive the car.’ Kenneth Tynan).
Informed by several grinding years spent as a bicycle courier, Day lifts the lid on the solitary life of the courier. Travelling the unmapped byways, short-cuts and edgelands of the city, couriers are the declining, invisible workforce of the city. The parcels they deliver – either commonplace or illicit – keep the city – and capitalism – running. Following in the footsteps of the literary walkers, Day explores the connection between cycling and writing, and in the history of the bicycle he reveals also the history of the landscape. The great bicycle road races – the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a España – are exercises in applied topography. Cyclogeography explores the relationship between bodies, bikes and geography.
The Holocaust never happened. The planet isn’t warming. Vaccines cause autism. There is no such thing as AIDS. The Earth is flat. Kahn-Harris sets out not just to unpick denialists’ arguments, but to investigate what lies behind them. The conclusions he reaches are disturbing and uncomfortable.
The European dream was meant to unite us. It would transcend nationhood and bring peace, prosperity, freedom and democracy.
The essays of Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, the 16th-century French philosopher, are an obvious addition to the Notting Hill Editions ‘Classic Collection’ due to the masterful balance of intellectual knowledge and personal story-telling conveyed in his writing.
This collection brings together the six international winners of the £20,000 Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize 2017. Contributors: William Max Nelson (winner), Karen Holmberg, Garret Keizer, Patrick McGuinness, Dasha Shkurpela, Laura Esther Wolfson.
Richard Sennett has spent an intellectual lifetime exploring how humans live in cities.
Starting with supervision of her primary school’s ‘Lost and Found’ depot, Gold charts her need to save objects, stories, and people – including herself – that she sensed to be on a road to perdition. In this compelling memoir, Gold relates her descent into addiction, and the fateful meeting that ultimately led to her salvation.
Frida Kahlo and My Left Leg by New York Times bestselling author Emily Rapp Black is an amputee’s personal examination of how the experiences, art, and disabilities of Frida Kahlo shaped her life.
In this light-hearted gardening book, James Fenton describes a hundred plants he would choose to grow from seed. Flowers for colour, size, or exotic interest; herbs and meadow flowers; climbing vines and tropical species… Here is a happy, stylish, thought-provoking exercise in good principles, which exudes that rare thing: common-or-garden sense about gardens.
A delightful selection of Priestley’s essays, drawing on five decades of his writing. Priestley defined the essay as a ‘prose masterpiece in miniature’ and understood that to perfect the form, the essayist had to stand ‘naked and shivering’ in the very first sentence.
A delightful selection of writing from non-fiction books and articles by the ever-popular A.A. Milne, many of which haven’t been in print for decades. Introduced by the prize-winning children’s author Frank Cottrell Boyce, this volume is an ideal gift book, bringing AA Milne’s brilliant non-fiction back to the spotlight.
Blending confessional criticism and anthropological autobiography, David Shields explores the power of literature to make life endurable. How Literature Saved My Life chronicles the author’s character flaws and despairs, using the crucible of self to show how confessional reading and writing are the foundation of a practice that helps us transcend sorrow, loss, and loneliness.
Winner of the 2021 Rubery Book Award – BBC music broadcaster Stephen Johnson (who has Bipolar Disorder himself) explores the power of Shostakovich’s music during Stalin’s reign of terror, and writes of the extraordinary healing effect of music on the mind for sufferers of mental illness.
Endlessly surprising and entertaining, Humiliation is an essay-in-fragments unlike any other you will read on the human condition.
Joe Brainard’s I Remember is a cult classic, envied and admired by writers from Frank O’Hara to John Ashbery and Edmund White. As autobiography, Brainard’s method was brilliantly simple: to set down specific memories as they rose to the surface of his consciousness, each prefaced by the refrain ‘I remember’.
‘At once a travel narrative, an allegorical journey, a withering comment on State-Building, a humanist philosophy of life, a preparation for death and a prophecy of resurrection (both for Armenia and for himself), this breathtaking, elliptical prose first appeared in the Soviet magazine Zvezda in 1933. Journey was the last piece Mandelstam saw published, and it takes its place among the outstanding masterpieces of twentieth century literature’ — Bruce Chatwin
In Junkspace, architect Rem Koolhaas itemised in delirious detail how our cities are being overwhelmed.
A fascinating account by a leading neurologist revealing his self-experimentation to find treatments for Parkinson’s Disease. In this extraordinary memoir, neuroscientist Andrew Lees explains how William Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch and troubled drug addict, played an unlikely part in his medical career.
In this lyrical essay, Gunn explores the ideas of home and belonging – and of her own deep connection to a place where every flower and gatepost seems embroidered with the memory of some story or another.
Prefaced by Frances Wilson, My Prizes is a brilliantly mordant memoir of the background and circumstances of nine literary prizes awarded to Austrian novelist and enfant terrible, Thomas Bernhard, between 1963 and 1980, followed by some of the speeches he delivered on those occasions
In his latest collection of essays, author, physician and humanist philosopher Raymond Tallis meditates on the wonder of human consciousness, free will, reality, God and eternity.
Following on from the bestselling Nairn’s Towns, cult figure Ian Nairn celebrates the city of Paris in his unique and eccentric way. This is a unique guidebook from the late, great architectural writer, Ian Nairn.
These essays show the late, great architectural critic Ian Nairn, writing about cities and towns as a whole rather than as collections of individual buildings.
“Late Spring, directed and co-written by Yasujiro Ozu, was released in 1949, which makes it an old film, or a film that has been new for a long time…” So begins this remarkable essay in narrative reconstruction.
A walking guide to this historic London neighbourhood, uncovering its countercultural roots A delightful English/Japanese guide to London’s most popular district. Through four walks London writer Julian Mash uncovers the history, culture and fascinating characters that have made Notting Hill so iconic.
A seasonal anthology of Christmas-themed writings to savour during the highs and lows of Christmas Day, introduced by Gyles Brandreth. This delightful book offers a diverse array of classic and contemporary writers who have expressed their thoughts about Christmas over the centuries – with joy, nostalgia, grumpiness, and dazzling wit.
The writers and poets collected within this delectable anthology reflect on the joys and pitfalls of dog ownership with wit and affection. From Roald Amundsen’s account of using sled dogs in his expedition to the South Pole to J.R. Ackerley’s tender portrayal of his ill-behaved dog Tulip, On Dogs traces the canine’s journey from working animal to pampered pet. With a humorous introduction by Tracey Ullman (an inveterate adopter of strays), and 6 arresting dog portraits by international photographer Rhian ap Gruffydd. The perfect gift for dog-lovers.
Some of the greatest thinkers and writers of our age, such as Baudelaire, Rilke, Kleist, Freud and Kafka, meditate on play and the mysteries of inanimate life.
The Paradoxal Compass is both historical narrative and environmental manifesto.
This is a story of a scarcely credible abundance, of flocks of birds so vast they made the sky invisible.
Prize-winning author Jonathan Keates has a secret passion: collecting vintage guidebooks.
In this revealing collection of personal essays, renowned essayist, Phillip Lopate, shares his unique view on the big subjects of parenthood, marriage, sex, friendship, and ‘the nail parings of daily life’.
In the Winter of 1811 Lewis Way – an accidental millionaire – had an epiphany which would lead him to devote his life and fortune to the return of the Jews to the Holy Land.
William Makepeace Thackeray has always been an author for those with discriminating literary palettes. ‘I do not hesitate to name Thackeray first’ said his most devoted disciple, Anthony Trollope.
A new anthology of Dostoevsky’s remarkable work ‘A Writer’s Diary’. A voluminous and variegated miscellany in which the celebrated author spoke to his readers about issues concerning Russia, it is a work as eerily prescient of global preoccupations in the twenty-first century as it is frequently overlooked.
Sauntering: Writers Walk Europe features sixty writers – classic and contemporary – who travel Europe by foot. We join Henriette D’Angeville climbing Mont Blanc; Nellie Bly roaming the trenches of war-torn Poland; Werner Herzog on a personal pilgrimage across Germany; Hans Christian Andersen in quarantine; Joseph Conrad in Cracow; and Robert Macfarlane dropping deep into underground Paris.
Taking a panoramic view from the days of Thucydides up to the present, Heffer analyses the motive forces behind the pursuit of power, and, explains in a beautiful argument why history is destined to repeat itself.
John Berger, art critic, novelist and long-time smoker, joins forces again with Turkish writer and illustrator Selçuk Demirel. This charming pictorial essay reflects on the cultural implications of smoking, and suggests, through a series of brilliantly inventive illustrations, that society’s attitude to smoke is both paradoxical and intolerant.
A poet and banker who knew everybody, Samuel Rogers (1763-1865) was a brilliant recorder of things said by his famous and powerful contemporaries, from Edmund Burke to Talleyrand, from Charles James Fox to the Duke of Wellington.
Georges Perec was a leading exponent of French literary experimentalism who found humour – and pathos – in the human need for classification.
The best fishing writing is never only about fishing, and the writers collected in this anthology use fishing as a way to write about love, loss, faith, and obsession.
The essays in this collection are, of course, not merely concerned with the self. Woolf does also discuss the rights of women, the revolutions of modernity, the past, present and future of the novel
Joseph Roth, whose many novels included The Radetsky March, was one of the most seductive, disturbing, and enigmatic writers of the twentieth century.
Written in the wake of the Paris attacks on November 13, 2015, Gila Lustiger examines the deep-rooted motives behind the attacks, the rise of antisemitism in the banlieues, and the profound flaws at the heart of the French governing system.
What Do You Desire? The n+1 Anthology – Volume II is a selection from the best of n+1, a Brooklyn-based magazine of politics, literature and culture, founded in 2004 and published thrice yearly.
In May 2013, Notting Hill Editions announced an annual literary prize for the best essay in the English language, open to anyone in the world, of between 2,000 and 8,000 words, published or unpublished, on any subject. The award is named in honour of William Hazlitt (1778-1830), great master of the miscellaneous essay. The first prize was awarded to Michael Ignatieff for Raphael Lemkin and Genocide.
Ahad Ha'am (the pen name of Asher Ginzberg) is mainly remembered as the 'father of cultural Zionism'. But there was much more to the man and his thought.