Souvenir
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About the Author

Michael Bracewell is the author of six novels and two works of non-fiction including SAINT RACHEL, PERFECT TENSE, REMAKE/REMODEL and ENGLAND IS MINE.His writing has been published in THE FABER BOOK OF POP and a selection of his writings on art and culture, THE SPACE BETWEEN was published in 2012.He has written widely on modern and contemporary art, most notably about the work of Bridget Riley and Richard Hamilton on the occasion of recent exhibitions of their work at The National Gallery, London. Also on the art of Damien Hirst and Gilbert & George for the Tate Gallery, London.His most recent publications include the Introduction to a new edition of Oscar Wilde's classic essay, 'The Critic As Artist'.

Reviews

The best evocation I've read of London in the '80s -- Neil Tennant
Michael Bracewell's exquisitely written book is a suspended act of retrieval, a partisan recall; a sustained, subtle summary of our recent past, and an epitaph for a future we never had. Told in shards of images, in postcards from the streets, clubs, clothes and chords, SOUVENIR reclaims the capital city. It is the story of a London told in a demi-decade,1975-1908 - one which formed the modern world. After SOUVENIR, that time and place will be forever remembered, in Bracewell's elegant prose -- Philip Hoare
A tone poem of clean reflection and hallucinatory detail -- Jon Savage
Michael Bracewell proves himself to be nothing less than the poet laureate of late capitalism -- Jonathan Coe
Nimble and impressionistic, Souvenir ... creeps up on you, at once intimate and remote, austere and yet beguiling. Souvenir is a one-off -- Anthony Quinn * FINANCIAL TIMES *
Rich, evocative... Part eulogy, part elegy, Bracewell's blurred hallucinatory memoir seems to have no grand purpose other than to transport and the reader has no option but to give in to its powerful, hypnotic prose and imagine themselves as a time traveller or ghost, adrift in a vanished London poised somewhere between post-war despondency and futuristic optimism -- Andrew Male * MOJO *
These atmospheric recollections of the capital of the 1970s and 80s, and the artists it inspired, conjures a city - and a culture - in a less rapacious age ... Neither a memoir nor a work of psychogeography, Michael Bracewell's Souvenir has elements of both, its shifting, impressionist narrative made up of recalled moments, places and encounters -- Sean O'Hagan * THE OBSERVER *
Evoking the London of four decades ago in impressionistic and allusive prose that intentionally reads at times like poetry, or an experimental novella: history recalled in non-fiction that mimics fiction. This is a lost world as seen through the eyes of Blitz club regulars, ICA bookshop frequenters, readers of the Face and I.D. magazine - young people drawing inspiration from the likes of William Burroughs and Guy Debord, the residual energy of punk and glam rock, Weimar Berlin, or the newer electronic sounds of Soft Cell and Throbbing Gristle...Throughout, the imagery is precise and carefully judged...Bracewell's book is fittingly named. It is a souvenir of the spirit of a particular London...it succeeds very well -- Max Decharne * THE SPECTATOR *
Michael Bracewell's latest book is an elating elegy, a portrait of the years 1979-86 in the form of glimpses, or near-vignettes, half-remembered, half-imagined, and heaving with imagery and semi-colons. There are 26 in all, starting with the emergence of colour and fantasy in the "pop-style zeitgeist" and ending with Richard Rogers's audacious Lloyd's of London building -- Leo Robson * NEW STATESMAN *
Proustian ... Bracewell - a novelist and cultural commentator whose topics have ranged from Roxy Music and Bridget Riley to Damien Hirst and Gilbert and George - summons-up images from the past, but their potency gives them an eerie clarity as if they are being experienced now ... In today's (un)social media-polarised society it provides, possibly, the most important reminder of what has been lost (temporarily, one hopes) in much of present-day society - the capability to engage in independent thought - and which it needs to recover if both social stasis and pointless conflict are to be avoided. For this Bracewell deserves our thanks, not only for what he resurrects from the past, but also for reminding us of what we need now and for the future. -- Nicky Charlish * 3:AM magazine *
Complex, rich and near-perfect in its management of its peculiar tone, it's one of the most remarkable works on pop history in recent memory -- Dan Barrow * THE WIRE *

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