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No Man's Land Writings from a World at War by Pete Ayrton

No Man's Land Writings from a World at War

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The Great War gave birth to some of the twentieth century's most celebrated writing; from Brooke to Sassoon, the poetry generated by the war is etched into collective memory. But it is in prose fiction that we find some of the most profound insights into the war's individual and communal tragedies, the horror of life in the trenches and the grand farce of the first industrial war. No Man's Land is a brilliant memorial to the twentieth century's most cataclysmic event.

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No Man's Land Writings from a World at War by Pete Ayrton

Featuring forty-seven writers from twenty different nations, representing all the main participants in the conflict, No Man's Land is a truly international anthology of First World War fiction. Work by Siegfried Sassoon, Erich Maria Remarque, Willa Cather and Rose Macaulay sits alongside forgotten masterpieces such as Stratis Myrivilis's Life in the Tomb, Raymond Escholier's Mahmadou Fofana and Mary Borden's The Forbidden Zone.


Splendid ... what a cast Ayrton has assembled ... The war, in all its calculated cruelty, its human impact, its formidable weapons of death and destruction and - yes - its futility, is captured brilliantly in this remarkable, wide-ranging anthology Herald Trailblazing ... even avid readers of First World War prose will find eye-opening discoveries here -- Boyd Tonkin Independent The essential collection of writing from the First World War ... wonderfully wide-ranging The Times Handsomely produced ... impressive ... intriguing ... Ayrton's volume will undoubtedly send people in search of the books from which he has drawn such enticing extracts. It also stands as a tribute to the art of translation ... This marvellous book truly lives up to its subtitle -- Peter Parker Times Literary Supplement Every week, of every year, literary editors find among the haul of new books at least two about the world wars of the last century. In this centenary year the proportion has dramatically increased. This book, however, is different. If you want to know what the Great War of 1914-18 was really like, you need read no other. Peter Ayrton has collected the best prose about that war ... Every extract rings with authenticity ... He makes us understand that it was, truly, a world war ... Ayrton's selections direct sharp spotlights on significant extracts from many of the greatest writers. The Tablet

About the Author

Pete Ayrton was born in London in 1943. After studying and briefly teaching philosophy, a period of left-wing tourism in France and Italy led to his learning to read and converse in these languages, and to take part in the intense, opaque discourses of Marxism. A period of work as translator led to a job as editor with Pluto Press and to his founding in 1986 of Serpent's Tail with the specific remit of publishing fiction in translation; this includes two First World War classics Frederic Manning's Her Privates We and Gabriel Chevallier's Fear, both represented in No Man's Land.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st January 2015


Pete Ayrton

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Serpent's Tail an imprint of Profile Books Ltd


576 pages


Historical Fiction
Short Story Collections
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

First World War fiction
Anthologies (non-poetry)



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