What You Made of It A Memoir, 1987-2020

C. K. Stead

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Having left the university to write full-time at the end of volume two, Stead throws himself into his work. In novels like Sister Hollywood and My Name Was Judas, criticism in the London Review of Books and the Financial Times, poetry and memoir, Stead establishes his international reputation as novelist, poet and critic. It is also a period when Stead’s fearless lucidity on matters literary and political embroil him in argument – from The Bone People to the meaning of the Treaty to the controversy over a London writer’s flat. What was it like to be Allen Curnow’s designated ‘Critic across the Crescent’; or alternatively to be labelled ‘the Tonya Harding of NZ Lit’? How did poems emerge from time and place, sometimes as naturally as ‘leaves to a tree’, sometimes effortfully? And how did novels about individual men and women retell stories of war (World War II, Yugoslavia, Iraq) and peace? Covering Stead’s travels from Los Angeles to Liguria, Croatia and Crete to Caracas and Colombia, as New Zealand poet laureate and Kohi swimmer, What You Made of It takes us deep inside the mind and experience of one of our major writers – and all in Stead’s famously lucid ‘story-telling’ prose.

$50

In stock

ISBN – 9781869409463
Publisher – Auckland University Press
Format – Hardback
Publication Date – 13/05/2021
Dimensions – 210mm X 140mm
Categories – Memoir

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C. K. Stead
You have a Lot to Lose A Memoir, 1956 - 1986

New Zealand’s most extraordinary literary everyman–poet, novelist, critic, activist. C. K. Stead told the story of his first twenty-three years in South-West of Eden. In this second volume of his memoirs, Stead takes us from the moment he left New Zealand for a job in rural Australia, through study abroad, writing and a university career, until he left the University of Auckland to write full time aged fifty-three. It is a tumultuous tale of literary friends and foes (Curnow and Baxter, A. S. Byatt and Barry Humphries, and many more) and of navigating a personal and political life through the social change of the 1960s and 70s. And, at its heart, it is an account of a remarkable life among books–of writing and reading, critics and authors, students and professors. From Booloominbah to Menton, The New Poetic to All Visitors Ashore, from Vietnam to the Springbok Tour, C. K. Stead’s You Have a Lot to Lose takes readers on a remarkable voyage through New Zealand’s intellectual and cultural history.

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