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Otherwise Known as the Human Condition

Otherwise Known as the Human Condition, winner of the National Book Critics Cricle for Criticism, collects 25 years of Geoff Dyer’s essays, reviews, and misadventures.

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Otherwise Known as the Human Condition

Geoff Dyer has won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism for Otherwise Known as the Human Condition announced in New York on 8 March 2012. The NBCC judges said that Dyer is a “critic par excellence who showed his love of his various subject in tour-de-force language.”

Otherwise Known as the Human Condition collects twenty-five years of essays, reviews, and misadventures. Here Geoff Dyer is pursuing the shadow of Camus in Algeria and remembering life on the dole in Brixton in the 1980s; reflecting on Richard Avedon and Ruth Orkin, on the sculptor Zadkine and the saxophonist David Murray (in the same essay), on his heroes Rebecca West and Ryszard Kapuscinski, on haute couture and sex in hotels.

“Dyer’s writing does what the best critical writing always does, encouraging us to view, read, or listen closely to art, literature, and music as well as to pay close attention to various cultural forms and their impact on our personal lives.” Publishers’ Weekly, Starred Review

First published: US, Graywolf, 2011

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Books

“Geoff Dyer has managed to do again what he does best: insert himself into an exotic and demanding environment (sometimes, his own flat, but here, the violent wonders of an aircraft carrier) and file a report that mixes empathetic appreciation with dips into brilliant comic deflation. Welcome aboard the edifying and sometimes hilarious ship Dyer.” Billy Collins, author of Aimless Love

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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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