San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
In a rare public appearance, Al Alvarez discusses his new book, Pondlife, with his editor Alexandra Pringle.
For the best part of his life Al Alvarez – poet, critic, novelist, rock-climber and poker player – has swum in the ponds of Hampstead Heath almost daily. An athlete in his youth, Alvarez, now in his eighties, chronicles what it is to grow old with humour and fierce honesty – from his relentlessly nagging ankle which makes daily life a struggle, to the devastating effects of a stroke and the salvation he finds in the three Ss – Swimming, Sex and Sleep.
As Alvarez swims in the ponds he considers how it feels when you begin to miss that person you used to be – to miss yourself. Swimming is his own private form of protest against the onslaught of time; proof to others, and himself, that he’s not yet beaten. By turns funny, poetic and indignant, Pondlife is a meditation on love, the importance of life’s small pleasures and, above all, a lesson in not going gently in to that good night.
‘Both beautiful and savagely angry, this elegy to the self comes from the pen of an author who, having once made an attempt on his own life, now loves it with fierce tenacity – and loathes his body’s decision not to co-operate.’ The Telegraph
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 and mountaineering – The Biggest Game in Town and Feeding The Rat. His most recent books are Where Did It All Go Right?, The Writer's Voice and Risky Business.
Tickets are £30 and include a copy of Pondlife which we will post to you to read in advance of the event. The spring season of the Hatchards Bloomsbury Book Club is with Al Alvarez, A.C. Grayling, Patrick McGrath and William Dalrymple. Season membership costs £100, to join please email email@example.com
Date: Thursday 28th March
Time: Drinks at 6pm and talk at 6.30pm
Place: Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP
Tickets: £30 including a hardback book
When & Where
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