Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.3 X 0.8 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Olivia Laing is a writer and critic. Her first book, To the River, was published by Canongate to wide acclaim and shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and the Dolman Travel Book of the Year. She has been the deputy books editor of the Observer, and writes for The Guardian, New Statesman, and The Times Literary Supplement, among other publications. She is a MacDowell Fellow, and has received grants from the Arts Council and the Authors' Foundation. She lives in Cambridge, England.


A fine writer's embrace of the artists who preceded her, friendly visits with their lives, and loving acknowledgement of their foundational contributions. A work of joy in recognition.--Sarah Schulman, author of Conflict Is Not Abuse
Like all great critics, Olivia Laing combines formidable intelligence with boundless curiosity and fabulous taste, but she also has a rare quality of intimacy; an ability to connect the reader to a work of art or literature (or for that matter a facet of life itself) with a directness that lights it up like nothing else. It's why I read her.--James Lasdun, author of Afternoon of a Faun
[Olivia Laing is] a kind of cultural sage... an accidental literary grande dame of the emotional havoc wrought by late capitalism and digital disconnect.--Hillary Kelly "Vulture"
Laing writes of her creative subjects in a winning, passionate voice that proves both soothing and galvanizing, especially amid a panic.... It's not just art we need in an emergency, but writers, like Laing, who gently guide our eyes to what's out there.--Alina Cohen "Observer"
As exterior life shuts temporarily down, Funny Weather is an immensely useful reminder that new space can be intellectual as well as physical.... Laing animates her prose with concise, brainy descriptions of visual art.... Laing is a tremendously gifted genre-mixer, and her writing flourishes most when its topic requires her both to observe and to imagine.... Funny Weather is an invitation to Laing's imaginary museum, where minds if not bodies meet, and where true hospitality resides.--Lily Meyer "Hyperallergic"
Laing opens each piece with a deceptive ease [and] alights upon poetic insights.... [H]er light touch throughout these essays makes room for some stunning perceptions.-- "A.V. Club"
A thought-provoking, inspiring collection that you can go back to whenever the weather takes a funny turn.--Susannah Butter "Evening Standard"
Funny Weather gives the reader a tangible sense of the sprawling garden of work which Laing has planted. She is to the art world what David Attenborough is to nature: a worthy guide with both a macro and micro vision, fluent in her chosen tongue and always full of empathy and awe.--Mia Colleran "Irish Times"
An incisive meditation on the value of heartfelt, messy art in our paranoid times.-- "Telegraph"
Laing's arts writing is sharp-minded, and her manner is generous toward both subject and reader.--John Glassie "Washington Post"