Making an Elephant: Writing From Within

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan UK, May 1, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 416 pages
3 Reviews

From the Booker Prize-winning author of Last Orders, Waterland and England.

As a novelist, Graham Swift delights in the possibilities of the human voice, imagining his way into the minds and hearts of an extraordinary range of characters. In Making an Elephant, his first ever work of non-fiction, the voice is his own.

Swift brings together a richly varied selection of essays, portraits, poetry, and reflections on his life in writing, full of insights into his passions and motivations, and wise about the friends, family, and other writers who have mattered to him over the years. Kazuo Ishiguro advises on how to choose a guitar, Salman Rushdie arrives for Christmas under guard, and Ted Hughes shares the secrets of a Devon river. There are private moments, too, with long-dead writers, as well as musings on history and memory that readers of Swift's novels will recognize and love.

Always warm and hugely engaging, Making an Elephant brims with revealing insights and astute and entertaining observations about a life in writing.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - adrianburke - LibraryThing

I had largely given up on this author after 'Last Orders' but following my policy of picking up one random book each library visit I have changed my mind. I am really enjoying this and his insights into writers and writing. I will go back to his back list. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - booksx2 - LibraryThing

For anyone who read and liked WATERLAND by Graham Swift, a must read. Non-fiction including previously published articles, interviews (with Swift himself and with Swift as the interviewer). Talks about the process of writing and how 'place' becomes part of a piece of writing. Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2009)

Graham Swift was born in 1949 and is the author of eight acclaimed novels and a collection of short stories. With Waterland he won the Guardian Fiction Prize (1983), and with Last Orders the Booker Prize (1996). Both novels have since been made into films. Graham Swift's work has appeared in over 30 languages.

Bibliographic information