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Lifescapes

A Biographer’s Search for the Soul

Lifescapes

A Biographer’s Search for the Soul

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Paperback / softback

£10.99

£9.89

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781529922547
Number of Pages: 224
Published: 11/07/2024
Width: 12.9 cm
Height: 19.6 cm

The acclaimed biographer and obituarist for The Economist reflects on a career spent pursuing life and capturing it on the page

'Lifescapes is the universe in miniature'
DAILY TELEGRAPH

It is soul that I go looking for. Or, to put it another way, real life.

'She's a genius, I believe'
HILARY MANTEL, author of Wolf Hall

'What is life?' asked the poet Shelley, and could not come up with an answer. Scientists, too, for all their understanding of how life manifests, thrives and evolves, have still not plumbed that fundamental question. Yet biographers and obituarists continue to corral lives in a few columns, or a few hundred pages, aware all the time how fleeting and elusive their subject is.

In this dazzlingly original blend of memoir, biography, observation and poetry, Ann Wroe reflects on the art and impossibility of capturing life on the page. Through her experiences and those of others, through people she has known, studied or merely glimpsed in windows, she movingly explores what makes a life and how that life lingers after.

Animated by Wroe's rare imagination, eye for the telling detail, and the wit, beauty and clarity of her writing, Lifescapes is a luminous, deeply personal answer to Shelley's question.

Ann Wroe

Ann Wroe is the Obituaries editor of The Economist, and has written its weekly obituary for almost two decades. She is the author of eight previous works of non-fiction, including biographies of Pontius Pilate (shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Award and the W.H. Smith Award), Perkin Warbeck, Shelley, Orpheus (winner of the Criticos Prize) and St Francis. She lives in Brighton and London.

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