Sunday 5 August 2012

Buy copies of The Lost Art of Losing

My new book, The Lost Art of Losing, is available to buy now on Amazon and at Book Depository, for well under five British pounds.

You can read some critical responses to the book HERE.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Launching my book of aphorisms

I hadn't intended to make a fuss of my book of aphorisms, The Lost Art of Losing. It isn't my (long delayed) new novel, after all. But then publication date drew near and parental guilt overcame me. This may be a wee book with a wee price tag, but it's my wee book and if I don't clear a way for it in the big bad world, who will?

So to mark the publication of what Andrew Miller has called "witty, provocative, self-revelatory and touching to read. A companionable little volume that brings fresh life to a venerable form," I will be launching the book in Manchester, Edinburgh and London.


Blackwell University Bookshop, Oxford Road

Thursday 26 April 18:00


Central Edinburgh Meeting House, Victoria Terrace

Thursday 3 May 17:30

These events are free (though the London event, on May 28, is by invitation only). If you're in the area, do drop in.

Monday 27 February 2012

My book of aphorisms: for sale in May

Chesterton said that novels are written for the sake of five or six words. Gregory Norminton has dispensed with the dross and given us nothing but the real thing: a whole library of “five or six words” in their magnificent, illuminating, witty and moving essence.

Alberto Manguel

Friday 17 June 2011

June 17

The deepest pessimism is silent. Many a jeremiad against humanity is a vote of confidence in its prospects, as it pressuposes future readers to concur with its sentiments.


There may be mercy killings but there can be no mercy births.


'You make your own fate,' say people born with the good fortune of never having had to prove it.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

May 4

Life is our only frame of reference. Death brings an end to everything, including itself.


Words on the page sleep, dreamless as hills - until eye read either, line or land.


Spring drought, and the heaths and woods where I grew up are burning. There is nothing in prospect but more of this: the familiar warping before our eyes. In the hard world coming, we will have to relearn many lost arts - including the art of losing.


The pity of the world lies not in its horror but in the evolution of a mind capable of imagining that things might be otherwise.

Sunday 27 February 2011

February 27

We prefer to suffer than to recover from those ills that defines us.


Tragedy is humiliation accepted, comedy humiliation resisted. This is why, at the ends of their careers, most politicians aspiring to the former condition achieve only the latter.


The mind that reads is too full of itself to mind what is written. So we sit, inattentive to our inattention, regarding ourselves pretending to understand.


How strange to be afraid of the dark. Even with the lights on, we have to go to sleep in our heads.


The gall, the presumption of the builder's shout: 'Cheer up mate, it might never happen.' For all he knows, it already has.


Love is the opposite of hate but friendship is its antidote.

Saturday 27 November 2010

November 27

The worst have their passionate intensity and the struggle is not between faith and unbelief but between moderation and extremism.


Our ultimate regret - that everything passes - may also prove our last consolation.


We are all dying. The trick is to do it as slowly as possible.


Midterms in America - and voters, furious at their physician's ineffective treatment, raid the medicine cabinet for the bottle that poisoned them.


There is vanity in self-reproach: why should you be immune to human failure?


Planning ahead, the best we can do is to choose with care our future regrets.