Paper: An Elegy. A Celebration of the Age of Paper
What do reading a book, smoking a cigarette, throwing confetti and voting in an election have in common? The answer, of course, is paper. Paper serves nearly every function of our lives. It is the technology with which we have made sense of the world. Yet the age of paper is ending. Ebooks now outsell their physical counterparts. Still, there are some uses of paper that seem unlikely to change - Christmas won't be Christmas without wrapped presents or crackers. And the language of paper - documents, files and folders - has survived digitisation. In Paper: An Elegy Ian Sansom builds a museum of paper and explores its paradox - its vulnerability and durability. This book is a timely meditation on the very paper it's printed on.
'Funny, brave, touching and true' Julie Myerson on THE TRUTH ABOUT BABIES. 'Sansom has a talent for demonstrating how the fantastic can grow quite naturally out of the familiar. Few books published these days can fairly be described as charming and fewer still are the product of so generous an intelligence ... It,s mellow, intelligent and very funny, a perfect antidote for melancholy., Michael Moorcock on RING ROAD in the Guardian. 'The tone is part elegy, part satire, part howl and very, very funny. I laughed more times than I can remember over a novel for years ... Ring Road is well-observed and endlessly inventive, with all the messiness of a real place. Sansom,s deadpan voice throws up jokes on every page., Observer on RING ROAD 'There is something fearless in the gaze Sansom turns on banality, and this novel is, in the end, a surprisingly gripping feat of coming to terms with what ordinary life is like., TLS on RING ROAD 'A wonderfully comic novel., Daily Mail on RING ROAD 'Calls to mind two other outstanding novels: Tristram Shandy...and Joseph Heller,s Catch-22... One of those rare books that, once picked up, proves very difficult to put down., The Irish Independent on RING ROAD 'Wonderfully vivid, easy, natural, funny and moving., Oliver Sacks on RING ROAD 'A mystery, a sustained piece of slapstick, a meditation and a yarn. And it is cripplingly funny., Independent on RING ROAD "blissful British comedies for the intellectual escapist" Times on MR. DIXON DISAPPEARS
Born in Essex, England, Ian Sansom is the author of the popular Mobile Library Mystery Series. He is also a frequent contributor and critic for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The London Review of Books, and The Spectator. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. He studied at both Oxford and Cambridge and is a former Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Currently, he teaches at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's University in Belfast.