In his first ever work of non-fiction, the Booker Prize-winning author of Last Orders and Waterland delivers a warm and generous account of what has influenced and inspired him over the years.
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 the voice is his own. As generous in its scope as it is acute in its observations, this highly personal book is a singular and open-spirited account of a writer's life. Swift brings together a richly varied selection of essays, portraits, poetry and interviews, 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 journey through place and time, Making an Elephant is a book of encounters, between a son and his father, between an author and his younger selves, between writer and reader, and between friends. It brims with charm and candour, and tells of alertness to experience and a true engagement with words, in short, with what it means to feel that writing and reading are an essential part of living.