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The River in the Sky Clive James

The River in the Sky By Clive James

The River in the Sky by Clive James

New RRP £10.99
Condition - Very Good
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A soaring autobiographical poem, meditating on death and celebrating life, from one of our most cherished, critically acclaimed and bestselling writers.

The River in the Sky Summary

The River in the Sky by Clive James

A single book-length poem, The River in the Sky sees Clive James face up to his final moments of life with all the wisdom, lightly-worn erudition and good humour that defined his extraordinary career.

Close to death for a number of years, Clive James wrote about the experience in a series of deeply moving poems. In this volume, we find him in ill health but high spirits. Though his body found him bound to his Cambridge home, his mind was free to roam.

On a grand tour of 'the fragile treasures of his life', James is animated by powerful recollections. He presents a flowing stream of vivid images, moving from emotionally resonant personal moments, such as listening to jazz records with his future wife, to unforgettable encounters with all kinds of culture: Beethoven's Ninth Symphony sits alongside 'YouTube's vast cosmopolis'.

James shares his passions with enormous generosity, making brilliant, original connections and fearlessly tackling the biggest questions: the meaning of life and how to live it. In the end, what emerges from this autobiographical epic is a soaring work of exceptional depth and feeling.

'The River in the Sky is superb, an epic lament, written in late life, filled with exact and moving observations about life and culture' - New York Times

Clive James
(1939-2019) was a broadcaster, critic, poet, memoirist and novelist. His acclaimed poetry includes the collection Sentenced to Life and a translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy, both Sunday Times bestsellers. His passion for and knowledge of poetry are distilled in his book of criticism on the subject, Poetry Notebook, and, written in the last year of his life, his personal annotated anthology of favourite poems, The Fire Of Joy.

Praise for Clive James:

'He will be seen, I think, as one of the most important and influential writers of our time' - Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

'Wise, witty, terrifying, unflinching and extraordinarily alive' - A.S. Byatt, critic and author of Possession: A Romance

'Clive James is a true poet' - Peter Porter, London Review of Books

The River in the Sky Reviews

Clive James's book-length poem The River in the Sky is superb, an epic lament, written in late life, filled with exact and moving observations about life and culture. If my ashes end up in an hour-glass, he wrote, I can go on working. -- Dwight Garner * New York Times *
A collection of intellectual agility, playfulness and high jinks -- Kate Kellaway * Observer, Poetry Books of the Year, 2018 *
This ranging poem moves like a river, dawdling sometimes then opening out into its full force. Clive James is gathering a life full of event, people, humour and remorse, books and writing: all now present in the copiousness of memory. It is a book written in the knowledge that death is coming near. It feels, and communicates, the pleasures of being alive in your one inimitable life. -- Gillian Beer
Clive James delivered another book-length poem from the abyss, The River in the Sky, defying death again while revealing himself to be one of the most vital poets writing in English. -- Christopher Merrill * Paris Review *

About Clive James

Clive James was the author of more than forty books. As well as essays, he published collections of literary and television criticism, travel writing, verse and novels, plus five volumes of autobiography, Unreliable Memoirs, Falling Towards England, May Week Was In June, North Face of Soho and The Blaze of Obscurity. As a television performer he appeared regularly for both the BBC and ITV, most notably as writer and presenter of the Postcard series of travel documentaries. He published several poetry collections, including the Sunday Times bestseller Sentenced to Life, and a translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy, which was also a Sunday Times bestseller. In 1992 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia and in 2003 he was awarded the Philip Hodgins memorial medal for literature. He held honorary doctorates from Sydney University and the University of East Anglia. In 2012 he was appointed CBE and in 2013, an Officer of the Order of Australia. He died in 2019.

Additional information

The River in the Sky by Clive James
Used - Very Good
Pan Macmillan
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

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