Author: Tim Parks
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harvill Secker (1 July 2010)
Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 2.6 cm
‘Just when the medical profession had given up on me and I on it, just when I seemed to be walled up in a life sentence of chronic pain, someone proposed a bizarre way out: sit still, they said, and breathe…’ “Teach Us to Sit Still” is the visceral, thought-provoking and improbably entertaining story of Tim Parks’ quest to overcome ill health. Bedevilled by a crippling condition which nobody could explain or relieve, he confronts hard truths about the relationship between the mind and the body, the hectic modern world and his life as a writer. Following a fruitless journey through the conventional medical system he finds solace in an improbable prescription of breathing exercises that eventually leads him to take up meditation. This was the very last place Parks expected or wanted to find answers; anything New Age simply wasn’t his scene. Meantime, he is drawn to consider the effects of illness on the work of other writers, the role of religions in shaping our sense of self, and the influence of sport and art in our attitudes to health and well-being. Most of us will fall ill at some point; few will describe that journey with the same verve, insight and radiant intelligence as Tim Parks. Captivating and inspiring, “Teach Us to Sit Still” is an intensely personal – and brutally honest – story for our times.
About the Author
Born in Manchester in 1954, Tim Parks moved permanently to Italy in 1980. Author of novels, non-fiction and essays, he has won the Somerset Maugham, Betty Trask and Llewellyn Rhys awards, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His works include Destiny, Europa, Dreams of Rivers and Seas, Italian Neighbours, An Italian Education and A Season with Verona.
Title: Dreams of Rivers and Seas
Author: Tim Parks
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Vintage (2 Jul 2009)
Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 3 cm
‘For some time now, I have been plagued, perhaps blessed, by dreams of rivers and seas, dreams of water’. Just days after Albert James writes these lines to his son John, in London, he is dead. Abandoning a pretty girlfriend and the lab where he is completing his PhD, John flies to Delhi to join his mother in mourning. A brilliant and controversial anthropologist, the nature of Albert James’ research, and the circumstances of his death, are far from clear. On top of this, John must confront his mother’s coolness, and the strangeness of the cremation ceremony that she has organised for his father. No sooner is the body consigned to the flames than a journalist arrives, determined to write a biography of the dead man. The widow will have nothing to do with the project, yet seems incapable of keeping away from the journalist.In Tim Parks’ masterly new novel, India, with its vast strangeness, the density and intensity of its street life, its indifference to all distinctions between the religious and the secular, is a constant source of distraction to these westerners in search of clarity and identity. To John, the enigma of his father’s dreams of rivers and seas appears to be one with the greater mystery of the country.
About the Author
Tim Parks studied at Cambridge and Harvard. He lives near Verona with his wife and three children. His novel Europa was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Destiny and Judge Savage were longlisted in 2000 and 2003.