Book Self: The Reader as Writer and the Writer as Critic

C. K. Stead

Author: C. K. Stead
Format: Paperback, Ebook
Pages: 329
Published: January 2008
Specs: 21.0cm x 14.0cm
ISBN: 9781869404123

Available in Ebook

For more than 40 years, C. K. Stead has been New Zealand’s leading literary and cultural critic. Whether writing about Christianity or a trip to Croatia, he always brings a clear personal point of view, a strong analytical bent, and a witty pen to his work.

In this latest collection of critical writing Book Self, a sequel to his successful books Kin of Place, Answering to the Language and The Writer at Work, Stead takes the reader on a personal journey, from his earliest discovery of poetry as a young man to his experiences on the literary trail over the last few years. And he takes us on a trip through literary history, from Katherine Mansfield and T. S. Eliot to Michael King and Elizabeth Knox.

For the first time, Stead includes in this book a series of journal extracts that allow readers closer to the mind of the writer. ‘Here the ego is exposed-not quite naked, but now and then with its shirt off,’ he writes.

In Book Self we see a great New Zealand critic at work – a writer with strong personal views about other writers and a deep commitment to the role of role of criticism in literary life.


More about C. K. Stead


. . . in Book Self, Stead approaches the matter of self head-on and defies his critics with sharp, clear, rational argument, putting their vague murmurs to shame. It is the story of – love it or hate it – a remarkably interesting New Zealand mind. – Nelson Wattie, NZ Listener