Title: the Folio Anthology Autobiography
Selected and Edited by Angela Thirwell
The Folio Anthology of Autobiography deliberately sets no boundaries and makes no claims to be definitive. This is neither an encyclopaedia nor a reference book. In another mood and at another stage of my life the anthology might have contained a whole gamut of different autobiographers selected from the over 800 I have considered. It is a record of choices that can only be personal but which I hope will engage and enthrall you as deeply as the investigation, carried out mostly beneath the inspiring Panizzi dome of the British Library in London, has sustained me. You will find examples of autobiographies from China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, the Americas, Africa, Russia, Europe and Britain, from the remote past of an Egyptian priest in the Old Kingdom to the raw present of a hostage newly released from captivity in Beirut. Here are autobiographies written by very young girls and very old men.
What were my criteria then in making my final choices? I wanted to provide testimony from men and women drawn from many nations, human occupations, periods in history, all age groups and classes, from both the obscure and the famous. I looked for writers whose individual experience, however extreme, bizarre, quiet or humble, has relevance for us all, flashing points of contact over the centuries and across the globe. Above all, I listened for voices that demanded a hearing, that rescued the self from the 'cliche of having lived'.
I wanted the Folio Anthology of Autobiography to be a work of art in itself with its own internal coherence, a sort of collective archetype of this most miscellaneous of literary forms, and to underline the fundamental principle of autobiography - that the interpretation of all individual human experience, in all its variousness, matters to all of us.
It is an anthology which aims to whet your appetite to read more autobiographies and to deepen your enjoyment of this much loved but underrated literary form. I want to suggest that autobiography can provide memorable literature as enduring and creative as fiction, drama and poetry. Reading autobiographies can do so much more than satisfy idle curiosity. It can sustain a sense of communication with other peoples lives which no no barriers. Links can be forged with people we could never physically meet, compassion can blossom and death itself be overcome. Autobiography maybe one of the most curative consolations for the human predicament.
The book comes in a light blue slip case.
The book is in overall good condition throughout.
The book has as can be seen from the picture alternate light blue and dark blue boards and silver lettering to the spine.