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Albertus.pl > Oferowane produkty > Powieści i opowiadania > Under the Duvet
'When people ask me what I do for a crust and I tell them that I'm a novelist, they immediately assume that my life is a non-stop carousel of limos, television appearances, hair-dos, devoted fans, stalkers and all the glitzy paraphernalia of being a public figure. It's time to set the record straight. I write alone, in a darkened bedroom, wearing my PJs, eating bananas, my laptop on a pillow in front of me ...' Her novels are adored by millions around the world – now read Marian Keyes’ collected journalism and exclusive, previously unpublished material in Under the Duvet. Bursting with her hilarious observations on life, in-laws, weight loss and parties; her love of shoes and her LTFs (Long-Term Friends); the horrors of estates agents and lost luggage; and how she once had an office Christmas party that involved roasting two sheep on a spit, Moroccan style; it’s the perfect bed-time companion, and will have you wincing with recognition or roaring with laughter. 'Anyone who has pored over Marian Keyes’ bestsellers will leap at the chance to discover another side to this much-loved author’ Hello 'Her honesty and humour can have you laughing out loud’ Heat 'Hilarious … will have you giggling out loud. A great book to dip into’ Company Introduction When I was twenty-one I got it into my head that I wanted to be a journalist. I considered my options: I could buy a pork-pie hat and notebook and approach newspapers, or I could apply to do a course. I decided on the course, which happened to be vastly oversubscribed, but I got through several of the interviewing stages, as they whittled down the numbers. However, I didn't make the final cut and I was absolutely devastated - heartbroken! But with the wisdom of hindsight it was probably all for the best. I would have been a terrible journalist - too wussy to doorstep suspects and too afraid of giving offence to ask tough questions. And I think I misunderstood my desire to work with words: I wanted to write fiction, not fact. Anyway, years passed (nine of them) and eventually I did begin to write fiction, which is when I discovered a peculiar side-effect of being a novelist: newspaper and magazine editors were keen for me to contribute pieces of - wait for it - journalism. Once I established that I didn't have to dissect burning matters of the day and that it was perfectly a OK to write funny autobiographical pieces, I was happy to do so. I began doing a regular monthly column for Irish Tatler, which covered most aspects of my life - writing, touring, trying to buy a house and learn to drive, my great love of shoes and confectionery, my great fear of dogs and New Year's Eve. Occasionally other Irish publications commissioned articles on something specific like Mother's Day or summer holidays, and over the months and years, without noticing, I built up quite a hefty pile of journalism. Most of the articles in this collection have been published already in Ireland, but not all have been. Some others, I've incorporated into a novel - like the story of me going for a mud-wrap in a desperate attempt to lose weight two days before I got married. Those of you who've read Last Chance Saloon might remember Tara having a similar experience. Everything in this book really did happen to me, but occasionally I've changed people's names to protect the innocent or not-so-innocent! The majority of the articles are humorous, but a few aren't quite as light-hearted - in particular the piece about struggling with alcoholism. (But you can skip it if it makes you depressed!) That's the beauty of a collection like this - unlike a novel, it can be read in any order you please; you can even start at the back if you want. I like the idea that this is something you can dip in and out of, that you can let the book fall open on a random page and just start reading (unless you've read it already, of course). Many people were instrumental in this book coming together and I'd like to thank them all; in particular, Tony (aka Himself), for his Trojan work collating the pieces, and Louise Moore and Harriet Evans for their creative and meticulous editing. Finally, I'd like to thank Ian Davidson for inspiring this collection. All my royalties from the Irish sales will go to the Simon Community, a wonderful charity that works with homeless people. And thank you very much for reading this book. I sincerely hope you enjoy it. Imeldas, and How to Spot Them I remember the first time I fell in love. I was fifteen years old and in a department store. Suddenly the breath was knocked from my body, as my eyes fixed on the object of my desire - a pair of four-inch, black-patent platform wedges with an ankle strap. I wanted them desperately. I felt they'd change me into someone sophisticated and beautiful and make me completely irresistible to Eddie Jackson. But by the time I'd saved up my babysitting money, the shoes were long gone and Eddie Jackson was sporting several hickies that had Karen Baker's teeth marks on them. Then, to my surprise, I became obsessed by a pair of navy clogs and I learnt a valuable lesson. Men will come and men will go, but there will always be shoes. In the same way that men are either leg-men, breast-men or Ill-take-what-I'm given men, women are divided into shoe women, bath-products women or nice-underwear women. I'm definitely a shoe woman. Or an Imelda, as we like to call ourselves. I used to think I was the only one. I lined the floor of my wardrobe with five-inch-heeled gold stilettos, eau-de-nil embroidered leather sandals and flowery Dr Martens and thought I was the only person who had ever slept with their new pair of green nubuck clogs. Until a new girl started at work, wearing ox-blood pumps with back-to-front heels. 'I love shoes,' she admitted. ' All my friends call me Imelda. After Imelda Marcos.' I was really upset. I had thought I was Imelda. But it transpired that there are lots of us out there and it's better to befriend each other. We're like collectors of rare artefacts. Only an Imelda would murmur, 'I've got a pair of rather special cone-heeled ankle boots that I think you might find interesting.' And only another Imelda wouldn't think she was a total nutter. If they can't get shoes in the right size, Imeldas will still buy them, if they're sufficiently fabulous. Because there are remedies. Too big? Hey, that's why God invented insoles! Too small? What's a small piece of excruciating agony when your feet are well dressed? Imeldas pamper their footwear as if they were loyal pets, buying them little titbits, like colour-protect and rain-guard and all the rest of the crap they try to flog you every time you buy shoes. I've got tons of those plastic things you stick in shoes to help them keep their shape. And I've spent at least three years of my life holding suede boots over boiling kettles, in a labour of love. Although recently I met an Imelda who keeps her shoes in their original boxes, and I don't know about you, but I think that's going too far. Unlike other garments, shoes don't suddenly become too tight one week out of every four. shoes will still fit you snugly even if you haven't got to the gym for over three weeks and you've been having curries and pizzas every night. You see, shoes deserve your loyalty because they return it. How to know if you're an Imelda: - If you've bought shoes and never worn them because you didn't want to damage them - If you structure your day around the shoes you want to wear, staying in when you want to go out, just so you can wear your duck-egg-blue grosgrain slippers. - If you've spent more on a pair of shoes than you would on a holiday. - If you own around ten almost identical black pairs. - If you've ever sustained injury from falling off a high pair and didn't mind - If you would rather lie and say you have athlete's foot than loan your shoes to your flatmate. - If you've ever slept in a pair - and not because you were so drunk that you couldn't take them off. Hot on the heels of Marian Keyes' No.1 bestseller, Sushi for Beginners, comes Under the Duvet, a warm and witty collection of funny stories and sharp observations on life, from high heels and movie deals to wagon wheels, shoes, reviews and having the blues. We asked Marian to reveal what it's really like to be a bestselling author, how it feels to write her own account of her alcohol addiction, and what's next for Marian Keyes. How would you describe your latest book Under the Duvet? Under the Duvet is very, very different from all my other books because it's not a novel, it's a collection of journalism about my life, learning to drive, trying to buy a house and about my life as a writer. I've been doing various pieces for magazines and papers over a period of five years and it's all been collated and organised into lovely sections, like the glamour of being a writer and moving back to Ireland after I've lived in England for so many years. Hopefully people will get a lot of laughs out of it and it's also in a good cause; I'm giving my royalties from my Irish sales to The Simon Community, which is a charity that deals with the homeless. So it's a feel good thing all round, you get a laugh when you read it and you know your money is going to a good place. What inspired you to collate all your work and ideas? Was it a starting point for wanting to do something for The Simon Community? It was triggered when I moved back to Dublin about four years ago. I lived in the centre of Dublin and I got to know a lot of the homeless men who lived in my doorway and in the doorways around my flat and it had a big effect on me because I saw them as human beings and I got to know their circumstances. I was very touched by the problem of homelessness and after I had written about it in a fictionalised form in Sushi for Beginners I wanted to do something further to help. People had said to me over the years 'oh you really should collect all those bits and pieces of articles that you've done', and everything came together at the same time. It just seemed a good idea, because I felt I'd already been paid for the articles, even though I didn't get paid much, so I was happy for the royalties to go to the homeless charity. Are you happy for your readers to get 'closer' to the real Marian, as opposed to reading about your characters? I'm delighted, because there are so many myths that surround being a writer. I certainly thought before I started to write that the minute my book was published I would never be unhappy again and it would be a non-stop round of limos and joyous occasions and television appearances and stalkers and people running up and doing my make-up, and asking for autographs. What kind of surprised me was how ordinary life continues to be, even though I'm in the incredibly fortunate position of having books of mine in the bookshops. It is like a dream come true to have your books published, but you know you don't fundamentally change. How do you think having your books published has changed you? It took me a very long time to describe myself as a writer because I felt I was really lucky to have got away with it and I probably wouldn't pull it off a second time. It probably took until book five, Sushi for Beginners, before I could say I'm a writer. Maybe it's because if you're working for someone else you have a title and you're defined from outside. I've always tried to keep my kind of self-definition separate from my job - I love it so much that I am afraid it will be taken away and so because of that I've always been careful to remember that I'm someone else as well. You mention in Under the Duvet that you like to write in bed, hence the title. Do you enjoy the process of writing? I have days that are absolutely wonderful and I write all the stuff that I had never known was in me and I've surprised myself and made myself laugh, and then I have had days when it has been like trying to get blood out of a turnip. I'm very all or nothing in every area of my life, so I'm either belting through it and lashing down 2000 words in three or four hours or I'm painstakingly going through it and I'm moving things around and deleting paragraphs. Moving words around is just as important as the splurge of creativity, I'm a Virgo, a perfectionist, and I like things to be neat and tidy. I think it takes me longer to write books than it takes my contemporaries because the feel of the book filters through me more slowly than it does other people. I actually feel what my characters are going through before I am happy to write about it, so that's really how it is. Does your family provide inspiration? The writing in Under the Duvet is 'real life' and I'm very fond of my family, we're a very colourful lot. There are five siblings altogether, but it feels like lots more, we're all kind of volatile and I think the whole thing comes from my mother who is very, very funny although on the outside she was a very well behaved Irish Catholic mammy. The columns have been inspired by a lot of things, like I had a party and I was so afraid that nobody would come so I made my brother bring fifty-seven of his closest friends, and he actually did. Do you know what you're going to write about beforehand? I never have a clue what a book is going to be about, ever. I always start with one character and have a vague idea of background or setting. For instance I knew Sushi for Beginners would be set in the magazine world, but other than that I didn't know how my characters would interact with each other, and I didn't know who would get off with who, and who was going to end up with what man, and who was going to change and who was going to come through fairly unscathed by the book. I like the unexpectedness of what my characters do, because life is like that, weird stuff happens all the time and I'm always intrigued by how we adapt to change. I've described writing as like climbing a mountain in the dark, you know, I don't know where I'm going and it is kind of a case of looking for the next toe holder or foothold before I can move forward. It's a really kind of an exciting process and I would prefer the way I do it than the safer way. What was the starting point for Rachel's Holiday, and was it important to you to write about your addiction? The addicted character was the starting point. I had already touched on addiction in Lucy Sullivan's Getting Married, through her dad's alcoholism, and it was a further step to actually write about addiction first-hand. I still love writing about addiction and alcoholism because it is so pivotal to who I am and I know that maybe the next book that I write, not the novel I am writing at the moment, but possibly book seven, will be about a recovering alcoholic. I'm very interested in addiction in all it's manifestations because I think we live in very addictive times and it's possible to get addicted to so much and not just the traditional substances like drink and drugs, but food, exercise, work and unsuitable men. I am fascinated by, not so much by the addiction I suppose, but the recovery from it. I love the process of how human beings heal and it's something that I keep wanting to explore and certainly with Rachel's Holiday it was a definite decision to write about a character who was mired with addiction, and mired in denial. Did you find writing about your own alcoholism, as opposed to that of a fictional character, hard? It wasn't that hard because I've talked about it a lot in press interviews and they've so rarely quoted me accurately or the headlines have been so sensational, that I was delighted to have this opportunity to tell the story of my addiction and my recovery in my words, without having someone else's agenda distorting the direction of it. There is a kind of taboo around alcoholism, there's still a stigma attached to it, especially to female alcoholics, but I don't judge myself, I'm not ashamed of it. I wouldn't have wished it on myself but I've come through it and I've been lucky enough to have recovered from it, and it's made me the person I am today. It's made me a more compassionate person than I probably would have been if I hadn't gone through that kind of horrific time. So it was fine to write about it and it's the most accurate account that has been published. In Under the Duvet you describe working at a magazine as research for Sushi for Beginners. If you weren't an author do you think you could have made it in the glamorous world of magazine publishing? I'm absolutely sure I couldn't, I would be so clueless. Everyone who worked there always looked so effortlessly glossy and they always looked 'band box fresh'. They never had mascara smudges under their eyes and their hems and buttons never fell off, but that's me - my heels fall off my shoes, I forget things - I would be absolutely dreadful in that world. I would be totally intimidated, so that is one job I don't yearn for in a parallel life. Is there anything you miss about London now you've moved back to Ireland? I miss loads of things about London. I still have a lot of friends here and that's difficult, and the shoe shops, good Lord, Dublin is great and has caught up in an awful lot of ways, but for some reason it is shamefully remiss in the shoe shop department. I love the buzz of London and I love the architecture - I've only noticed it now that I don't live here anymore. Can you tell us about your new book? It's provisionally called Angels and it's about another member of the Walsh family. Of the five sisters there was one sister Margaret who was a lick arse, but she's not so much of a lick arse anymore. She has been married to a dull but worthy man and she runs away to Hollywood to visit her friend Emily who is a failed scriptwriter on the fringes of Hollywood. This is not a Jackie Collins novel, this is not a glamorous novel, it is about people who are probably never going to make it, people on the edge, the vast numbers of people waiting tables and waiting for their big break. At the same time it's a journey of personal discovery, because it's the story of Margaret and the break-up of her marriage which is told through flash backs throughout the book; so as things are happening to her and she's moving forward in Los Angeles, the back part of her life is also catching up with her. I've had an awful lot of fun writing this book, I'm about three quarters of the way through and I hope to be finished at the end of the year anyway. Out of the all the books you've written which was the hardest book to write? Watermelon was the easiest because I hadn't a clue what I was doing, and they say a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. The second book, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, was much harder, I thought I could replicate the light-hearted approach I took to Watermelon and I was told by my editor to go back into myself, into my darkness and make it a more interesting book. The third book Rachel's Holiday was even harder and the killer was Last Chance Saloon. I fully expected that every book would just get tougher, but Sushi for Beginners was an absolute joy to write from start to finish - it just wanted to be written - and Angels, the book I'm writing at the moment, has been easier than the others, so I'm delighted. I would continue to do it even if it was hard because I think it's worth doing and I love doing it.
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