The Sea View Has Me Again


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About the Author

Patrick Wight is Emeritus Professor of Literature, History and Politics at Kings College, London. His books include The Village that Died for England, A Journey Through Ruins, and Tank- The Progress of a Monstrous War Machine.


"A monumental sifting and arranging of local particulars, stitched against the savage farce of a great European novelist's elective exile... Patrick Wright has picked over the landfill of a very specific Estuary culture to devastating effect."
"A double 'biography' of the great but always tempestuous German writer Uwe Johnson and his ultimate home, the gritty and disreputable Isle of Sheppey. 'Biography' is in quotes because Wright is a saboteur of genres and his books encompass multiple worlds. I stand in awe of what he has accomplished here."
"A masterful modernist history, and Patrick Wright's most important book, bringing Europe to England by showing it has always been here, at a moment when too many want to believe something else."
"An extraordinary, haunting book... a phenomenal achievement."
"An astonishing chronicle of the great German author Uwe Johnson, who moved to Sheerness, Kent, in the 70s."
"To repeat: this tidal book, reaching into everything and then withdrawing to show what is left behind, is a triumph."
"A huge achievement: a comprehensive portrait of a place and a person, and the best book about Brexit that's yet been written."
"A model portrait of person and place, a kind of cultural and literary geography that never fails to fascinate."
"A glorious rabbit hole of a book ... a longue duree portrait, from the 17th century to Thatcher, of a single location on the edges of British national life."
"Wright plays both the anatomist and the elegist for the blighted modernity of seemingly forsaken spots such as Sheppey ... a fragmentary panorama of traumatic, half-remembered history, personal and national."
"Thorough, discerning, compassionate."
"The most involving and originally-conceived social history of modern England to have appeared in decades."
"A hymn to estuarial peculiarity and a lament for an awkward man determined never to find his place."
"I was entirely captivated by this microscopic, discursive study of Uwe Johnson... a great book about the relationship between Britain and the rest of Europe, and not a page too long."

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