Bigger Thomas refuses to accept, like his mother or his girlfriend, the panaceas of religion or whisky. Unwittingly involved in a wealthy woman’s death, he is hunted relentlessly. He only finally realises his individuality by facing his death.
Could drugs offer a new way of seeing the world? In 1953, in the presence of an investigator, Aldous Huxley took four-tenths of a gramme of mescalin, sat down and waited to see what would happen. When he opened his eyes everything, from the flowers in a vase to the creases in his trousers, was transformed. His account of his experience, and his vision for all that psychedelics could offer to mankind, has influenced writers, artists and thinkers around the world.
How does a writer compose a suicide note? This was not a question that the prize-winning novelist William Styron had ever contemplated before. In this true account of his depression, Styron describes an illness that reduced him from a successful writer to a man arranging his own destruction. He lived to give us this gripping description of his descent into mental anguish, and his eventual success in overcoming a little-understood yet very common condition.
This contemporary debut novel from Scottish author Alan Warner centres on Morvern Callar who wakens one morning to discover her boyfriend has committed suicide in the kitchen. Her reaction is both intriguing and immoral and her ensuing actions appalling.
In the winter of 1974, filmmaker Werner Herzog made a three week solo journey from Munich to Paris on foot. He believed it was the only way his close friend, film historian Lotte Eisner, would survive a horrible sickness that had overtaken her. During this monumental odyssey through a seemingly endless blizzard, Herzog documented everything he saw and felt with intense sincerity. This diary is dotted with a pastiche of rants about the extreme cold and utter loneliness, notes on Herzog’s films and travels, poetic descriptions of the snowy countryside, and personal philosophizing.
‘Songlines’ or ‘Dreaming Tracks’ are what Europeans call the invisible pathways that meander all over Australia. From such lines Chatwin has been able to trace a great deal about an Aboriginal culture as complex as it is different from our own.