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The Man with Night Sweats

The Man with Night Sweats (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Thom Gunn's The Man With Night Sweats shows him writing at the height of his powers, equally in command of classical forms and of looser, more colloquial measures, and ready to address a wide range of themes, both intimate and social. The book ends with a set of poems about the deaths of friends from AIDS. With their unflinching directness, compassion and grace, they are among the most moving statements yet to have been provoked by the disease.

Fiction & PoetryPoetryPoetry by individual poets Publisher: Faber & Faber Publication Date: 03/01/1998 ISBN-13: 9780571162574  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Thom Gunn was born in Gravesend, Kent in 1929. He published his first book of poems, Fighting Terms (1954), while he was still an undergraduate at Cambridge. That same year, he moved to California and stayed there for the rest of his life, teaching at Berkeley and living in San Francisco. He published nine books of poetry, including The Man with Night Sweats, which won the Forward Prize for Poetry in 1992, and Boss Cupid (2000). Gunn also published a Collected Poems (1994) and two collections of essays, The Occasions of Poetry (1982) and Shelf Life (1993). He was awarded many major prizes and fellowships from the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. Thom Gunn died in 2004.

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Staff Choice

Thom Gunn is the kind of poet I wish I'd met. He is understated and elegant but also devastatingly perceptive. This book was written as an elegy to friends affected by AIDS at a time when the mainstream press was still reeling and blaming. It is loving, deferential and generous (particularly my favourite line in 'The Differences': 'To me/Conscience and courage stood fleshed out in you'), but incredibly strong and not sycophantic in the least. Just an elegy should be.

Emily, Charing Cross Road

 

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 26/04/2016

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