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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