These inquisitive, enchanting pieces are a collective celebration of bookshops - for anyone who has ever fallen under their spell
A celebration of bookshops all over the world, by an award-winning cast of writers including Ali Smith, Andrey Kurkov, Elif Shafak and Daniel Kehlmann, now in paperback.
A cabinet of curiosities, a time machine, a treasure trove - we love bookshops because they possess a unique kind of magic. In Browse Henry Hitchings asks fifteen writers from around the world to reveal their favourite bookshops, each conjuring a specific time and place.
Ali Smith chronicles the secrets and personal stories hidden within the pages of secondhand books; Alaa Al Aswany tells of the Cairo bookshop where revolutionaries gathered during the 2011 uprisings; Elif Shafak evokes the bookstores of Istanbul, their chaos and diversity, their aroma of tobacco and coffee. Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor recalls the quandary of choosing just one book at a favourite childhood store in Nairobi, while Iain Sinclair shares his grief on witnessing a beloved old haunt close down. Others explore bookshops they have stumbled upon, adored and become addicted to, from Delhi to Bogota.
These inquisitive, enchanting pieces are a collective celebration of bookshops - for anyone who has ever fallen under their spell.
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)
About the Author
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.
"Lives up to its inviting title." - Times Literary Supplement
"Very worthwhile but not too worthy, this is a timely call to arms." - Monocle
'All these writers convey the magic of bookshops, while also making their vulnerability in recent times a recurrent theme.' - Guardian
'If you have ever lost yourself in a bookshop, felt the world fall away as you took a book off the shelves, this spell-binding collection will carry you off to shops near, far, lost and imagined.' - Mail on Sunday
'Everywhere bookshops are fast disappearing. Sixteen writers from around the world remind us why we should cherish them at all costs.' - Spectator
'A lovely collection of touching and personal accounts of books and bookshops. Each author's writing style is unique and transports you across the globe.' -- Cub Magazine
'In celebrating bookshops, Browse heralds humanity, with all its glorious eccentricities.' - Country Life