‘An immensely readable volume. On every page, Swift emerges as a considerable essayist, who upholds the sterling virtue of good writing combined with emotional and intellectual engagement’ Evening Standard
As a novelist, Graham Swift delights in the possibilities of the human voice, imagining his way into the minds and hearts of an extraordinary range of characters. In Making an Elephant, his first ever work of non-fiction, the voice is his own.
Swift brings together a richly varied selection of essays, portraits, poetry, and reflections on his life in writing, full of insights into his passions and motivations, and wise about the friends, family, and other writers who have mattered to him over the years. Kazuo Ishiguro advises on how to choose a guitar, Salman Rushdie arrives for Christmas under guard, and Ted Hughes shares the secrets of a Devon river. There are private moments, too, with long-dead writers, as well as musings on history and memory that readers of Swift’s novels will recognize and love.
‘A rewarding collection, with the same humanity and flair for detail that distinguishes Swift’s fiction’TLS
‘Revealing, self-deprecating, full of fascinating details.’ Edward Marriott, Observer
‘Swift’s essays display the same quiet intensity as his fiction, a capacity for subtle storytelling with dark emotional undercurrents’ Financial Times