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A Week At The Airport : A Heathrow Diary - Alain de Botton

A Week At The Airport : A Heathrow Diary

Paperback

Published: 20th November 2009
Ships: 10 to 15 business days
10 to 15 business days
RRP $19.99
$19.95

In the summer of 2009, Alain de Botton will be invited by the owners of Heathrow airport to become their first ever Writer in Residence.

He will be installed in the middle of Terminal 5 on a raised platform with a laptop connected to screens, enabling passengers to see what he is writing and to come and share their stories. He will meet travellers from around the world, and will be given unprecedented access to wander the airport and speak with everyone from window cleaners and baggage handlers to air traffic controllers and cabin crew.

Working with the renowned documentary photographer Richard Baker, de Botton will produce an extraordinary meditation upon the nature of place, time, and our daily lives. He will explore the magical and the mundane, personal and collective experiences and the interactions of travellers and workers all over this familiar but mysterious site.

Like all airports, Heathrow (the 15th century village of Heath Row lies beneath the short stay car park) is a 'non-place' that we by definition want to leave, but it also provides a window into many worlds - through the thousands of people it dispatches every day. A Week at the Airport is sure to delight de Botton's large following, and anyone interested in the stories behind the way we live.

Author Biography: Alain de Botton is the bestselling author of books on the philosophy of subjects including love, travel and status. He is the founder of The School of Life, an organisation in London for whom he has conducted a guided weekend tour of Heathrow airport.

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A Week At The Airport : A Heathrow Diary
 
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4.0

Says what it is

By Relly

from Newcastle

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Read
  • Informative
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Travel Reading

    Comments about A Week At The Airport : A Heathrow Diary:

    Facinating for anyone who has spent time in an airport.

    Comment on this review

    "Simultaneously poignant and terribly funny . . . De Botton's most imaginative work yet." -"Spectator" "Funny, charming, and slender enough to pack in your carry-on." -"Daily Mail" "Surprising. . . . His observations on airport life are wry and thought-provoking." -"Telegraph" "Shrewd, perceptive and gently ironic." -"Independent" 

    Alain de Botton

    Alain de Botton was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1969 and now lives in London. He is a writer of essayistic books that have been described as a 'philosophy of everyday life. He’s written on love, travel, architecture and literature. His books have been bestsellers in 30 countries. Alain also started and helps to run a school in London called The School of Life, dedicated to a new vision of education. Alain’s newest book is published in April 2009 and is titled The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work.

    Alain started writing at a young age. His first book, Essays in Love [titled On Love in the US], was published when he was twenty-three. It minutely analysed the process of falling in and out of love, in a style that mixed elements of a novel together with reflections and analyses normally found in a piece of non-fiction. It's a book of which many readers are still fondest and it has sold two million copies worldwide.

    It was with How Proust can change your Life that Alain's work reached a truly global audience. The book was a particular success in the United States, where the mixture of an ironic 'self-help' envelope and an analysis of one of the most revered but unread books in the Western canon struck a chord. It was followed by The Consolations of Philosophy, to which it was in many ways an accompaniment. Though sometimes described as popularisations, these two books were at heart attempts to develop original ideas (about, for example, friendship, art, envy, desire and inadequacy) with the help of the thoughts from other thinkers – an approach that would have been familiar to writers like Seneca or Montaigne and that disappeared only with the growing professionalisation of scholarship in the 19th century.

    Alain then returned to a more lyrical, personal style of writing. In The Art of Travel, he looked at themes in the psychology of travel: how we imagine places before we have seen them, how we remember beautiful things, what happens to us when we look at deserts, or stay in hotels or go to the countryside. In Status Anxiety, he examined an almost universal anxiety that is rarely mentioned directly: the anxiety about what others think of us; about whether we're judged a success or a failure, a winner or a loser. In The Architecture of Happiness, Alain discussed questions of beauty and ugliness in architecture. Much of the book was written at de Botton's home in West London, just near Shepherd's Bush roundabout, one of the uglier man-made places, which nevertheless provided helpful examples of how important it is to get architecture right.

    The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work saw Alain travelling across the world for two years with a photographer in tow, looking at people in their workplaces and reflecting on the great themes of work: why do we do it? How can it be more bearable? What is a meaningful life? The book is at once lyrical and gripping like a novel can be, and yet also packed with ideas and analysis.

    In the summer of 2009, Alain was appointed Heathrow's first Writer-in-Residence and wrote a book about his experiences, A Week at the Airport

    Aside from writing, de Botton has been involved in making a number of television documentaries - and now helps to run a production company, Seneca Productions.

    In the summer of 2008, Alain realised a life-long dream when he helped to launch a miniature 'university' called The School of Life - which emulates the spirit of enquiry and playfulness found in his books and which aims not only to discuss life, but also change it for the better. Following on in this entrepreneurial vein, Alain has also helped to start a new organisation called Living Architecture which is building world-class modern architecture for rental around the UK. In 2009, Alain was made an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, in recognition of his services to architecture.



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    ISBN: 9781846683596
    ISBN-10: 1846683599
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 112
    Published: 20th November 2009
    Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
    Dimensions (cm): 19.5 x 12.0  x 0.8
    Weight (kg): 0.16
    Edition Number: 1