Author(s): Ali Smith
Edited and introduced by the writer and critic Henry Hitchings, these fearless, passionate, inquiring essays by award-winning international writers celebrate one of our most essential, but endangered, institutions: the bookshop. From Denmark to Egypt, from the USA to China, Browse brings together some of the world's leading authors to investigate bookshops both in general and in particular - the myriad pleasures, puzzles and possibilities they disclose. The fifteen essays reflect their authors' own inimitable style - romantic, elegant, bold, argumentative, poetic or whimsical - as they ask probing questions about the significance, the cultural and social (even political) function as well as the physical qualities of the institution, and examine our very personal relationship to it. Contributors include: Alaa Al Aswany (Egypt) Stefano Benni (Italy) Michael Dirda (USA) Daniel Kehlmann (Germany) Andrey Kurkov (Ukraine) Yiyun Li (China) Pankaj Mishra (India) Dorthe Nors (Denmark) Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (Kenya) Elif Shafak (Turkey) Ian Sansom (UK) Iain Sinclair (UK) Ali Smith (UK) Sasa Stanisic (Germany/Bosnia) Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Colombia)
Henry Hitchings is an award-winning writer, reviewer and critic. He has written for the Guardian, London Review of Books, TLS, Financial Times and New Statesman, and is currently the Evening Standard's theatre critic. He is the author of several acclaimed books on language, literature and culture, including Dr Johnson's Dictionary, How to Really Talk About Books You Haven't Read and The Language Wars. In 2008, he was shortlisted for the title of Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, and in the same year his book The Secret Life of Words won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award.