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Lost Classics: Writers on Books Loved and…

Lost Classics: Writers on Books Loved and Lost, Overlooked, Under-read,…

by Michael Ondaatje (Editor), Michael Redhill (Editor), Esta Spalding (Editor), Linda Spalding (Editor)

Other authors: Margaret Atwood (Contributor), Murray Bail (Contributor), Russell Banks (Contributor), Christian Bok (Contributor), Roo Borson (Contributor)69 more, Robert Boyers (Contributor), Brian Brett (Contributor), Natalee Caple (Contributor), Anne Carson (Contributor), George Elliott Clarke (Contributor), Karen Connelly (Contributor), Carole Corbeil (Contributor), Robert Creeley (Contributor), Sarah Ellis (Contributor), Jeffrey Eugenides (Contributor), Douglas Fetherling (Contributor), Charles Foran (Contributor), Helen Garner (Contributor), Wayne Grady (Contributor), Githa Hariharan (Contributor), Diana Hartog (Contributor), Steven Heighton (Contributor), Michael Helm (Contributor), Greg Hollingshead (Contributor), Anne Holzman (Contributor), Isabel Huggan (Contributor), Laird Hunt (Contributor), Nancy Huston (Contributor), Siri Hustvedt (Contributor), John Irving (Contributor), Pico Iyer (Contributor), Gordon Johnston (Contributor), Wayne Johnston (Contributor), Janice Kulyk Keefer (Contributor), Wendy Lesser (Contributor), Philip Levine (Contributor), Alan Lightman (Contributor), Derek Lundy (Contributor), David Malouf (Contributor), Javier Marias (Afterword), Harry Mathews (Contributor), W. S. Merwin (Contributor), Anchee Min, Jim Moore (Contributor), Erin Moure (Contributor), Susan Musgrave (Contributor), Michael Ondaatje (Contributor), Caryl Phillips (Contributor), Cassandra Pybus (Contributor), Andrew Pyper (Contributor), Michael REdhill (Contributor), Bill Richardson (Contributor), Eden Robinson (Contributor), Leon Rooke (Contributor), Jane Rule (Contributor), Joanna Scott (Contributor), Sarah Sheard (Contributor), Eleni Sikelianos (Contributor), Sam Solecki (Contributor), Esta Spalding (Contributor), Linda Spalding (Contributor), Lawrence Sutin (Contributor), Sharon Thesen (Contributor), Colm Toibin (Contributor), Lola Lemire Tostevin (Contributor), Michael Turner (Contributor), Sedn Virgo (Contributor), Eleanor Wachtel (Contributor), Darren Wershler-Henry (Contributor), Edmund White (Contributor), Rudy Wiebe (Contributor), C.K. Williams (Contributor), Michael Winter (Contributor), Ronald Wright (Contributor)

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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
In this collection of short pieces published in 2000, most only three pages long, 74 authors write about books that have made a lasting impression on them, but which they have lost or that are otherwise hard to find. The works cited are quite eclectic, including major works of fiction, children's books, travelogues and other varieties of non-fiction. While most of the books--and the authors writing about them--were unfamiliar to me, this book is 100% fascinating from beginning to end. It is difficult to put down once you start, assuming, of course, that you are a book lover. Time after time, it demonstrates the power and importance of books, and it shows all the ways, large and small, that they educate and influence the lives we lead.

There is no need to single out individual examples of these authors' reminiscences, since all are interesting and many are memorably written. You'll be looking up these "lost classics" and their authors on the internet in almost every case. I'm happy to report that most of these books are no longer "lost". Some are available in reprints or new editions, and nearly all are available used at reasonable prices from Amazon, abebooks.com, and other sources.

This book will make you think about your own lost classics, and maybe you'll dig one or two up from the back of your double-stacked shelves or the bottom of a box in the back corner of your storeroom. This book itself, I'm happy to say, doesn't appear to have imitated the fate (at least circa 2000) of its subjects. Amazon still has new copies for sale, and it was reprinted in 2011. ( )
1 vote datrappert | Dec 5, 2017 |
It's interesting to read what writers think of books by other authors. This is a collection of short essays about books that had meaning for the readers, who are themselves well-known authors. I started by reading the essays on books that I am familiar with, then those by authors that I have read, and so on. Naturally, with such variety, some were better or more interesting than others. ( )
  VivienneR | Dec 8, 2014 |
A keeper. Authors write about obscure books that changed their lives, books we readers should find and read. ( )
  debnance | Jan 29, 2010 |
Writers writing about books from their past that have been lost to them. Full of interesting ideas and suggestions. ( )
  mschaefer | May 8, 2007 |
Showing 4 of 4

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ondaatje, MichaelEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Redhill, MichaelEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Spalding, EstaEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Spalding, LindaEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Atwood, MargaretContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bail, MurrayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Banks, RussellContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bok, ChristianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Borson, RooContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boyers, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brett, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Caple, NataleeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carson, AnneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clarke, George ElliottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Connelly, KarenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corbeil, CaroleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Creeley, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ellis, SarahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eugenides, JeffreyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fetherling, DouglasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foran, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Garner, HelenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grady, WayneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hariharan, GithaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hartog, DianaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heighton, StevenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Helm, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hollingshead, GregContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holzman, AnneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Huggan, IsabelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hunt, LairdContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Huston, NancyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hustvedt, SiriContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Irving, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Iyer, PicoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnston, GordonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnston, WayneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Keefer, Janice KulykContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lesser, WendyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Levine, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lightman, AlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lundy, DerekContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Malouf, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marias, JavierAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mathews, HarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Merwin, W. S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Min, Ancheesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, JimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moure, ErinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Musgrave, SusanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ondaatje, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Phillips, CarylContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pybus, CassandraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pyper, AndrewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
REdhill, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Richardson, BillContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robinson, EdenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rooke, LeonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rule, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Scott, JoannaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sheard, SarahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sikelianos, EleniContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Solecki, SamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spalding, EstaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spalding, LindaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sutin, LawrenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thesen, SharonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Toibin, ColmContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tostevin, Lola LemireContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Turner, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Virgo, SednContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wachtel, EleanorContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wershler-Henry, DarrenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, EdmundContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wiebe, RudyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, C.K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Winter, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wright, RonaldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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A book that we love haunts us forever; it will haunt us even when we can no longer find it on the shelf or beside the bed where we must have left it.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385720866, Paperback)

Writers, it's often said, are readers first and writers second. Frequently, it is the indelible mark left by some book that inspires a person to commit to the writing life. Mining that vein, the editors of Brick, a Canadian literary journal, asked their contributors "to tell us the story of a book loved and lost." The "Lost Classics" issue has been expanded into a book, in which 73 authors--Margaret Atwood, Russell Banks, John Irving, Philip Levine, Anchee Min, and Michael Ondaatje among them--write about the books they've loved and lost.

These are books worth stealing, books remembered in the twilight that precedes sleep, books that, for these authors, provided "that moment when a reader seems to have found the perfect mate." Though many of the books extolled here are acknowledged classics, many are not. Helen Garner cherishes a childhood book that "except for members of my immediate family, no Australian I've mentioned the book to ... has had any knowledge of it whatsoever." Sarah Sheard writes lovingly of Down and Out in the Woods: An Airman's Guide to Survival in the Bush, "a manual of food, shelter and first aid [that] was the companion text of my childhood summers." Michael Turner reminisces about a book he never actually read, and Erin Mouré describes a book about the history of fishes that "no one I knew was ever interested in reading." Anne Holzman laments her inability to find a copy of a book for lefty activists called Reweaving the Web of Life (hint to Holzman: check online--used copies are readily available). And Nancy Huston introduces Kressmann Taylor's Address Unknown, "a perfectly astonishing [and prescient] little book." A kind of Rand McNally for the literary explorer, each chapter a hand-forged map leading down bookish roads less traveled. --Jane Steinberg

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:23 -0400)

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