This book is a defence of authorship - authorship whose public works proceed from and incorporate private lives.
Examining the question of the presence of authors in their writings, and of certain authors in the writings of others, Miller focuses on the memorial writings of Louisa Stuart (1757-1851) and Primo Levi, and the work of a wide variety of other authors, including Cervantes, Samuel Richardson, V.S. Naipaul, Kingsley Amis, Peter Ackroyd, Milan Kundera, Ryszard Kapuscinski, and James Kelman.
Published to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the London Review of Books, the book also touches on the opinions and idiosyncrasy of authors; imitation, replication, and pastiche; ghosts; Hamlet and its enduring popularity; recent authorial crises and case histories; and literary journalism.
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