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Making an Elephant
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Making an Elephant

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  50 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In his first-ever work of nonfiction, Graham Swift—Booker Prize-winning author of Waterland and Last Orders—gives us a highly personal book: a singular and open-spirited account of a writer’s life.

Here Kazuo Ishiguro advises on how to choose a guitar; Salman Rushdie arrives for Christmas under guard; Caryl Phillips shares a beer with the author at a nightclub in Toronto. T
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ebook, 416 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2009)
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Bill
In the introduction to this book, Graham Swift states that it started out as simply a collection of non-fiction pieces but that it ended up being somewhat of an autobiography as well. In my opinion it didn't really succeed on that level at all. I really didn't learn all that much about his life from this book other than he's a writer, has quite a few other writers as friends, and drinks quite a bit. For example early on in the book he mentions that he found the love of his life and married her a ...more
umberto
I first came across Graham Swift's "Learning to Swim" published in a CUP series in 1997 but I decided to buy Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own" instead. I didn't buy or read his novel because it was quite unfamiliar to me.

Then last month I saw this book in some bookstores, its cover reveals him as 'Author of the 1996 Booker Prize Winner, Last Orders'. I like its fonts large enough for me to read enjoyably so I kept reading and understood more on how he works or thinks as a novelist. I think
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Deryck Hodge
This book on his life and writing is good, though not as good as other books I've read like this. I enjoyed the personal passages about his life, more than the thoughts on his craft. The chapter written on his father's death stands out as a moving essay.

I have always been a fan of Graham Swift's fiction, so as a fan, I enjoyed this book. It's not as good as others like this I've read. Art Objects by Jeanette Winterson is better by a contemporary British author, and Mystery and Manners by Flanner
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Karen
I've never read any Swift, so my intentions in picking this book were less than honourable: I had a couple of hours, and very little cash, to spend in town and this hardback was £2.99 in a discount bookshop.



I've always maintained that rudeness and arrogance are my most hated characteristics in people and thankfully Swift comes across as the absolute antithesis of these. Although it is a collection of previously published work, it is not just lazily chucked together nor, worse, presented as somet
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Antje
Strange experience. I prefer his fiction which curiously seems much more authentic than this collection of essays, poems, autobiographical writing. I occasionally cringed with embarrassment at the sense of trying to hard. And my inner voice begged him not to but he did - call Salman Rushdie Father Christmas.
Po
Ang pakikisalamuha ng awtor sa kanyang buhay, personal, paglalakbay, at pakikipagkapuwa tao sa isang awtor na nagsilbing isa sa naka-impluwensiya sakaniya sa kanyang pagsusulat.

Mga hindi pangkaraniwang bagay na ginagawa na niya sa ngayon dahil sa pakikisalamuha sa isang kapwa awtor.

maslumalim ang kayang pananaw at ideya upang magsulat ng nobela, tula at mga kwento patungkol sa kapaligiran at kanyang personal na dinanas.
sisterimapoet
I spent many wonderful afternoons dipping into this collection. And each time I spent time in Mr Swift's company I felt I came to know him a little better, and love him a little more. I liked learning about how writing fits into his life, and how his life fits into his writing. It has made me want to read everything he's ever written! And it's made me want to write. Job done!
Jessica
I LOVED this collection! In particular, two chapters that focused on his feelings on becoming a writer, his description of the struggle involved and how he worked through it in his 20s. Resonated with this 20-something here. :)
David
A series of essays which are both thought-provoking and entertaining. We should all read more essays.
Emily Pinto
Wonderful variety! Graham Swift is a poet as well as a prose writer. This selection proves it!
Jacqueline
work of non-fiction about writers and writing.
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Graham Colin Swift FRSL (born May 4, 1949) is a British author. He was born in London, England and educated at Dulwich College, London, Queens' College, Cambridge, and later the University of York. He was a friend of Ted Hughes.

Some of his works have been made into films, including Last Orders, which starred Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins and Waterland which starred Jeremy Irons. Last Orders was a
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More about Graham Swift...
Last Orders Waterland The Light of Day Wish You Were Here Tomorrow

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“A friend of his entered the restaurant, looking too, for whatever reason, a little frail. The was an exchange of token 'how are you's and 'oh, all right's. Then Alan said, with a rush of cheeriness, 'Hard work, isn't it - being all right?” 0 likes
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