A dazzling new collection of essays to mark the now-not-quite-so-new millennium Literary critic, cultural commentator, TV personality, journalist, poet, political analyst, satirist and Formula One fan: Clive James is a man (and master) of many talents, and the essays collected here are testament to that fact. Whether discussing Bing Crosby, Bruno Schulz or Shakespeare, he manages to prioritise style and substance simultaneously, his tone never less than pitch-perfect, his argument always considered. With each phrase carefully crafted and each piece offering cause for thought, the resulting volume -- which takes the reader from London to Bali, theatre to library, from pre-election campaigning to sitting in front of the TV at home, watching The Sopranos and The West Wing -- is remarkable not only for its range and insight, but also its intimacy and honesty. A contemporary everyman, James is also unmistakably himself, and The Meaning of Recognition shows him at his witty, learned -- and heartfelt -- best.
Clive James is the author of more than forty books. As well as essays, he has published collections of literary and television criticism, travel writing, verse and novels, plus five volumes of autobiography, Unreliable Memoirs, Falling Towards England, May Week Was In June, North Face of Soho and The Blaze of Obscurity. As a television performer he appeared regularly for both the BBC and ITV, most notably as writer and presenter of the Postcard series of travel documentaries. His popular Radio 4 series A Point of View has been published in volume form. He has also published several poetry collections, a verse commentary of Proust, Gate of Lilacs, and a translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy. In 1992 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia and in 2003 he was awarded the Philip Hodgins memorial medal for literature. He holds honorary doctorates from Sydney University and the University of East Anglia. In 2012 he was appointed CBE and in 2013 an Officer of the Order of Australia.