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Clive James For 2004 Festival Writers

Literary All-Rounder Clive James For 2004 Festival Writers

NZ Post Writers and Readers Week

Literary all-rounder and pop-culture icon Clive James will amuse and entertain readers at the New Zealand International Arts Festival 2004 New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week.

James is one of the first writers to be confirmed for next year. The New Zealand International Arts Festival runs from 27 February - 21 March 2004. Writers and Readers week is March 9 - 14.

Described by one commentator as 'a brilliant bunch of guys', James has produced close to 30 books in two decades. His writings include novels, song lyrics, collections of mock-epic verse, 'unreliable' memoirs and volumes of literary and television criticism alongside his career as a satirist in front of the camera.

James wrote critical essays and book reviews for the Times Literary Supplement, Nation and Listener while at university in England. His objective studies and non-academic tone impressed critics. He earned a reputation for being able to discuss literature in its social context, both 19th century and contemporary. He has written about topics as diverse as writers W.H. Auden, Solzhenitsyn, John Le Carre to the soap opera Dallas, Princess Anne's wedding, Margaret Thatcher and Wimbledon. Joseph Epstein in the New York Times Book Review judged James as "one of the brightest figures in contemporary English intellectual journalism."

James later turned his critical attention to television media. A London Times contributor summed up James's popularity: "Mr James makes the programmes so much more enjoyable than they ever have been to watch."

James grew up in Sydney, Australia and has lived in London since 1962. His first autobiography, Unreliable Memoirs (1980) gives a hilarious account of growing up in Australia. In it he wrote that at school he was known as the class clown and compensated for his small size by being entertaining. "I cultivated the knack of exaggeration. Lying outrageously, I inflated rumour and hearsay into saga and legend."

Clive James appears at the New Zealand International Arts Festival 2004 Writers and Readers Week in association with New Zealand Post.

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