Funny Weather : Art in an Emergency
About the book
'The book to help you make sense of the world' Stylist 'A brave writer whose books open up fundamental questions about life and art' Telegraph In this remarkable, inspiring collection of essays, acclaimed writer and critic Olivia Laing makes a brilliant case for why art matters, especially in the turbulent political weather of the twenty-first century. Funny Weather brings together a career's worth of Laing's writing about art and culture, examining its role in our political and emotional lives. She profiles Jean-Michel Basquiat and Georgia O'Keefe, interviews Hilary Mantel and Ali Smith, writes love letters to David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, and explores loneliness and technology, women and alcohol, sex and the body. With characteristic originality and compassion, she celebrates art as a force of resistance and repair, an antidote to a frightening political time. We're often told art can't change anything. Laing argues that it can. It changes how we see the world. It makes plain inequalities and it offers fertile new ways of living. 'A warm, thinking, enticing sweep of a book, like spending the afternoon with your brainiest friend.' - Kate Mosse, author of The Burning Chambers.
A brave writer whose books open up fundamental questions about life and art Telegraph
A brave writer whose books open up fundamental questions about life and art * Telegraph * Olivia Laing is my new favourite non-fiction writer * Nick Hornby * Like all great critics, Olivia Laing combines formidable intelligence with boundless curiosity and fabulous taste, but she also has a rare quality of intimacy; an ability to connect the reader to a work of art or literature with a directness that lights it up like nothing else. It's why I read her -- James Lasdun A warm, thinking, enticing sweep of a book, like spending the afternoon with your brainiest friend -- Kate Mosse, author of The Burning Chambers Her observations and poetic incisiveness on art, writers and politics are a gift. This is a fascinating, excursive, tonic of a book -- Sinead Gleeson, author of Constellations A thought-provoking, inspiring collection that you can go back to whenever the weather takes a funny turn * Evening Standard * Funny Weather gives the reader a tangible sense of the sprawling garden of work which Laing has planted. She is to the art world what David Attenborough is to nature: a worthy guide with both a macro and micro vision, fluent in her chosen tongue and always full of empathy and awe * Irish Times * Laing has acted as a kind of cultural sage for the past four years, an accidental literary grande dame of the emotional havoc wrought by late capitalism and digital disconnect * New York Magazine * Olivia Laing combines passion and curiosity in a collection of art-based essays and profiles that reflect the uncertainty of our age * Observer * The hospitality of world view in Olivia's writing is a vital force in our disputatious present -- Maria Balshaw, director of Tate Never has a publication been more timely * Dazed * A fine writer's embrace of the artists who preceded her, friendly visits with their lives and loving acknowledgement of their foundational contributions. A work of joy in recognition -- Sarah Schulman The book to help you make sense of the world . . . [a] mesmerizing collection of essays . . . this unique and compassionate book is a mind-expanding opportunity to rethink how we live, and what we can do to change things for the better. * Stylist * A light-footed tour of enriching stories, lives, and ideas * Dazed and Confused * Her gift as a critic is her ability to imaginatively sympathize with her subjects in a way that allows the art and life of the artist to go on radiating meaning after the book is closed * Elle * Breathtaking, beautiful, funny, shocking, sad, revealing, and timely -- Nina Stibbe, author of Love, Nina I yield to absolutely no one in my admiration of Olivia Laing; her essays are magical liberations of words and ideas, art and love; they're the essence of great 21st century literature: brilliantly expressed, wildly uncontained, wilful and wonderfully unbound. -- Philip Hoare, author of RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR Olivia Laing shines the light for art writing. Funny Weather urges us to humanise art, and listen to what artists say about life, love and crisis. -- Charlie Porter An incivisive meditation on the value of heartfelt, messy art in our paranoid times * Telegraph * ...leavened by empathy and an omnivorous curiosity * Guardian * It's not just art we need in an emergency, but writers, like Laing, who gently guide our eyes to what's out there * Observer * Vibrant commentary on art and society by a writer with a sharp eye for the offbeat * Kirkus * Laing's essays are urgent, compassionate, enlivening and acutely perceptive, and that's true whether or not we encounter them "in an emergency" * the arts desk * Her words seem balefully accurate, given what has now overtaken us * Financial Times * Laing is an intelligent and acute writer, and this book is certainly interesting and assuredly well-written * Scotsman *
Olivia Laing Biography
Olivia Laing (born 14 April 1977) is a British writer, novelist and cultural critic. She is the author of four works of non-fiction, To the River, The Trip to Echo Spring, The Lonely City, and Everybody, as well as an essay collection, Funny Weather, and a novel, Crudo. In 2018, she was awarded the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize for non-fiction and in 2019, the 100th James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Crudo. In 2019 she became an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Early life and educationOlivia Laing grew up in Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire. She enrolled at Sussex University to study English, but dropped out to live on a road protest in Dorset. At the age of 20, she spent three months living alone on an abandoned farm near Brighton, an experience she has described as being formative. In her twenties, Laing trained as a medical herbalist.
CareerBetween 2007 and 2009, Laing was Deputy Books Editor of The Observer. She writes on art and culture for The Guardian, frieze and New Statesman and has written catalogue essays for many contemporary artists, including Derek Jarman, Chantal Joffe, Wolfgang Tillmans and Andy Warhol. Laing is the author of four books of nonﬁction, each mixing cultural criticism and memoir with elements of biography, psychoanalysis, and travel writing. Her first book, To the River: A Journey Beneath the Surface, was published in 2011. Walking the length of the Ouse, the river in which Virginia Woolf drowned in 1941, Laing reflects upon Woolf's life and work and, more generally, upon the relationship between history and place, and the difficulties of biography. The book was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and the Dolman Best Travel Book Award.The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking (2013), a ﬁnalist for both the Costa Biography Award and the Gordon Burn Prize, employs a similar tack. Travelling across America, Laing explores the difficult relationship between creativity and alcoholism, placing her own experience growing up in an alcoholic family alongside the lives of male alcoholic writers such as John Cheever, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Carver and Ernest Hemingway. In the book, she praises literature's “power to map the more difficult regions of human experience and knowledge.” According to the judges of the Windham-Campbell Prize, "this power to map the difficult, the shameful, and the grotesque, as well as the beautiful and transcendent, is inherent in her own work."Her third book, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone, was aided by research Laing undertook as a recipient of the 2014 Eccles British Library Writer Award and was published in 2016. It was shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. It has been translated into eighteen languages. Examining her own experience of solitude during a period living in New York, Laing considers how the culturally stigmatised condition of loneliness provides ... Read full biography
|Languages:||| English ||
|Edition Statement:||Main Market Ed.|
|Publication date:||April 16, 2020|
|First Publication Date:||None|
|Publication City/Country:||London, United Kingdom|