Risky Business: People, Pastimes, Poker and Books

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Jan 21, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 409 pages
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For more than 50 years, Al Alvarez has been best known as a literary critic with a knack for producing profound and eloquent analysis of writers and their craft. Along the way, he has also been a passionate amateur of risky pursuits—among them poker, mountaineering, and flying in airplanes—which he has written about with rare depth, liveliness, and perception. This broad-reaching collection of essays brings together some of his most notable treatises on such risky topics as polar expeditions and poker championships as well as some of his most trenchant literary criticism covering such authors as Sylvia Plath, Alice Munro, Norman Mailer, and Jean Rhys. Incisive and grandly written, this is a fascinating compilation of work from a unique man of letters.


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About the author (2008)

Al Alvarez is a poet, novelist, literary critic, anthologist and author of many highly praised non-fiction books on topics ranging from suicide, divorce and dreams - The Savage God, Life After Marriage, Night - to poker, North Sea oil and mountaineering - The Biggest Game in Town, Offshore, Feeding the Rat. His most recent books are New and Selected Poems and The Writer's Voice.

In 2010 Al Alvarez was awarded the Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature for 'meritorious works in poetry, fiction, history and belles lettres'. He lives in London.

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