Where I'm Reading From cover

Where I'm Reading From: The Changing World of Books

Why do we need fiction? Why do books need to be printed on paper, copyrighted, read to the finish? Do we read to challenge our vision of the world or to confirm it? Has novel writing turned into a job like any other? In Where I’m Reading From, the novelist and critic Tim Parks ranges over decades of critical reading—from Leopardi, Dickens, and Chekhov, to Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, and Thomas Bernhard, and on to contemporary work by Peter Stamm, Alice Munro, and many others—to upend our assumptions about literature and its purpose.

In thirty-seven interlocking essays, Where I’m Reading From examines the rise of the “international” novel and the disappearance of “national” literary styles; how market forces shape “serious ...

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Featured Titles

The Death of Napoleon

Simon Leys, translated from the French by Simon Leys and Patricia Clancy
What if it was not Napoleon who had died on St. Helena in 1821—but a cunningly disguised double? “I am so glad to report that Simon Leys’s The Death of Napoleon has one hell of an idea—the absurdity of trying to retrieve time or glory—and is written with the grace of a poem.” —Edna O’Brien, The Sunday Times

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Ending Up

Kingsley Amis, introduction by Craig Brown
“I finished Kingsley Amis’s Ending Up with…a conviction, confirmed in work after work, that he is one of the few living novelists totally incapable of boring me. Ending Up is a sardonic little masterpiece which, with incredible economy and stylistic restraint, shows what old age is really like, and also—far, far better than any other writer I know—what contemporary England is like.” —Anthony Burgess

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Take a Girl Like You

Kingsley Amis’s most ambitious reckoning with his central theme—the degradation of modern life—introduces one of the rare unqualified good guys in Amis’s rogue-ridden world: Jenny Bunn, a girl from the North English country has come south to teach school in a small smug town where she hopes to find love and fortune.

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