Author(s): Greg Baxter
'Traditional autobiography is composed after the experience has passed. I wrote this book in the very panic of the experiences that inspired it'. In his early thirties, Greg Baxter found himself in a strange place. He hated his job, he was drinking excessively, he was sabotaging his most important relationships, and he was no longer doing the thing he cared about most: writing. Strangest of all, at this time he started teaching evening classes in creative writing - and his life changed utterly. "A Preparation for Death" is a document of the chaos and discovery of that time and of the experiences that led Greg Baxter to that strange place - an extraordinarily intimate account of literary failure (and its consequences), personal decay, and redemption through reading, writing, and truth-telling. Studded with vivid, loving portraits of the people closest to him - his Austrian grandmother, who narrowly survived the Second World War; his mother and father, both described with heartbreakingly close attention; and his cousin Walter, whose own demons provide a striking counterpoint to the author's - it is above all a stunningly vivid and searching self-portrait: possibly the most honest book you'll ever read.
Brilliant and wonderfully original ... Yes, this is a book about drinking and shagging. But rarely have these things been written about so well -- William Leith Literary Review Baxter is a serious, thoughtful writer, bent on emotional truth and artistry. He has written an unusual, provocative book. -- Suzi Feay Financial Times The triumph is in the steely courage it takes to put a life down with such uncompromising clarity -- Hugo Hamilton Irish Times Baxter tells his story with a captivating and rare honesty Sunday Times Brave, honest and propulsive Metro
Greg Baxter was born in Texas in 1974. For the past ten years he has lived in Dublin, where he works as a journalist.