King, Bruce

An Interesting Life, So Far

Memoirs of Literary and Musical Peregrinations

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Finally, Bruce King, acclaimed literary critic, presents his autobiography and offers fascinating insights into his life as bon vivant and literary critic.

512 Seiten, Paperback. 2017
ISBN 978-3-8382-0956-2

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“Bruce King’s memoir of his life as a wandering scholar teaching at different universities and of his friendships with writers like Robert Graves, Derek Walcott, and Wole Soyinka is a vivid glimpse into literary and academic bohemia of the last five decades. Dance, jazz, and food play their part alongside books, people, and places as King writes his pioneering literary studies and biographies that collectively chart the shifts from English Studies to Postcolonial Writing to World Literature. A compelling read for all who value the synergies between life, art, and letters.“
Janet Wilson, Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies, Director of Research, School of the Arts, University of Northampton

“The 1965 liner notes for Miles Davis’ Greatest Hits deal exclusively with Davis’ interest in fashion.  Esquire writer George Frazier provokingly ends his essay with 'When not selecting additions to his wardrobe Miles Davis is a professional trumpet player. People who know about such things tell me he shows a lot of promise.' By the same token, Bruce King is a dancer and musician who professionally 'shows a lot of promise.' From our first meeting in Northern Nigeria at Ahmadu Bello University, I was struck by Bruce’s obsession with music and perhaps not unrelated vision of the need for the study of literature to move beyond categories like Pan African, Francophone and Commonwealth. This abiding interest in the emergence of writing outside of Europe and outside of national or racial boundaries has been the basis as much for academic collaboration as well as for a personal friendship over the years. His welcome autobiography attests to his travels as a wandering academic who is ever aware that creative connections, as much in literature as in music, are no longer national but global. There are few academics who could so ably encompass literary critic, cosmopolitan bon vivant and avid dancer in one lifetime.“
J. Michael Dash, French Department, New York University

“Much like the jazz he loves, Bruce King's life is driven by the make-shift and improvisatory. Obstacles in his way inspire turnarounds that defeat them. An Indian word for improvised solutions is jugaad, and King's life is jugaad.
It often takes the form of extended stays in challenging countries, India being one of them. Drawn into dangerous currents—the works and lives of those countries' cultural players—King manages to keep his head above water, generally to praise what he finds; when necessary, to condemn.
This is a book about a frequently displaced, heroic, continuously self-correcting life, generous in its recall, extraordinary in its scope.“
Adil Jussawalla, Poet


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