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The Colour of Memory

“In the race to be first in describing the lost generation of the 1980s, Geoff Dyer in The Colour of Memory leads past the winning post.” The Times

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The Colour of Memory

“Not since Colin MacInnes’s City of Spades and Absolute Beginners thirty years ago has a novel stuck a flick-knife so accurately into the young and marginal city.” The Times

“In the race to be first in describing the lost generation of the 1980s, Geoff Dyer in The Colour of Memory leads past the winning post. ‘We’re not lost,’ one of his hero’s friend’s says, ‘we’re virtually extinct’. It is a small world in Brixton that Dyer commemorates, of council flat and instant wasteland, of living on the dole and the scrounge, of mugging, which is merely begging by force, and of listening to Callas and Coltrane. It is the nostalgia of the DHSS Bohemians, the children of unsocial security, in an urban landscape of debris and wreckage. Not since Colin MacInnes’s City of Spades and Absolute Beginners thirty years ago has a novel stuck a flick-knife so accurately into the young and marginal city. A low-keyed style and laconic wit touch up The Colour of Memory.” The Times

“Of all the hyped novels about 1980s London it remains one of the most genuine.” Peter Jukes, New Statesman

“Captures the vigour and life of Brixton… There are vivid tableaux of street life, shot through a compassionate lens… sustained and powerful.” Sunday Times

“Dyer writes crisp Martin Amis-inflected prose, full of acute and neat phrases.” TLS

First published: UK, Cape, 1989

Current UK paperback: Canongate (revised edition)

US edition: McSweeneys (2013)

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From “one of our most original writers” (Kathryn Schulz, New York magazine) comes an expansive and exacting book—firmly grounded, but elegant, witty, and always inquisitive—about travel, unexpected awareness, and the questions we ask when we step outside ourselves.

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Forewords & Afterwords

Geoff Dyer introduces this survey of Jacob Holdt’s photographs of America in the 1970s.

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As Editor

When William Gedney died in 1989 at the age of 56 he was little known except to a few colleagues and curators. This book, co-edited by Geoff Dyer, reveals Gedney’s remarkable photographs as well as writings by him.

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