Francis Spufford Books & Bio. Cheap Books by Francis Spufford. Book People
Born in 1963 and the son of esteemed historians Margaret and Peter Spufford, Francis Spufford studied English Literature at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and earned a BA in 1985.
He has written many non-fiction books over the course of his 25-year career and published his debut novel, the Costa First Novel Award-winning Golden Hill, in 2016.
He lives just outside Cambridge and teaches writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Francis Spufford Books
The Soviet Union was founded on a fairytale. It was built on 20th-century magic called 'the planned economy', which was going to gush forth an abundance of good things that the penny-pinching lands of capitalism could never match. And just for a little while, in the heady years of the late 1950s, the magic seemed to be working. "Red Plenty" is about that moment in history, and how it came, and how it went away; about the brief era when, under the rash leadership of Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union looked forward to a future of rich communists and envious capitalists, when Moscow would out-glitter Manhattan, every Lada would be better engineered than a Porsche and sputniks would lead the way to the stars. And it's about the scientists who did their genuinely brilliant best to make the dream come true, to give the tyranny its happy ending.
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But it isn't an argument that Christianity is true - because how could anyone know that (or indeed its opposite)? It's an argument that Christianity is recognisable, drawing on the deep and deeply ordinary vocabulary of human feeling, satisfying those who believe in it by offering a ruthlessly realistic account of the bits of our lives advertising agencies prefer to ignore. It's a book for believers who are fed up with being patronised, for non-believers curious about how faith can possibly work in the twenty-first century, and for anyone who feels there is something indefinably wrong, literalistic, anti-imaginative and intolerant about the way the atheist case is now being made. Fresh, provoking and unhampered by niceness, this is the long-awaited riposte to the smug emissaries of New Atheism.
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What would you find if you went back and re-read your favourite books from childhood? In The Child That Books Built Francis Spufford revisits all those childhood obsessions: fairy tales; Where the Wild Things Are; The Lord of the Rings; The Chronicles of Narnia; Little House on the Prairie; The Wind in the Willows; The Earthsea Trilogy and more. In these treasured tales Francis Spufford discovers both delight and sadness - the thrill as worlds of imagination opened up before him mixed with the memories of a boy who retreated into books when faced with a family tragedy.
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When Captain Scott died in 1912 on his way back from the South Pole, his story became a myth embedded in the national imagination. Everyone remembers the doomed Captain Oates's last words: 'I'm just going outside, and I may be some time.' Francis Spufford's celebrated and prize-winning history shows how Scott's death was the culmination of a national enchantment with vast empty spaces, the beauty of untrodden snow, and perilous journeys to the end of the earth.
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