Al Alvarez's writing career has come in many guises. One of the most influential post-war critics, he has written profoundly and eloquently about writers and their craft for over fifty years. But Alvarez has also been a passionate amateur of risky pursuits - poker playing, mountaineering, flying in aeroplanes - and he has written about these subjects with a rare depth, liveliness and perception. This is a collection of his finest essays. Ranging from trenchant literary criticism to accounts of polar expeditions and poker championships, "Risky Business" is a sparkling and eclectic anthology from our most unusual man of letters.
Al Alvarez is a poet, novelist, literary critic, anthologist and author of many highly praised non-fiction books on topics ranging from suicide, divorce and dreams - The Savage God, Life After Marriage, Night - to poker, North Sea oil and mountaineering - The Biggest Game in Town, Offshore, Feeding the Rat. His most recent books are New and Selected Poems and The Writer's Voice. In 2010 Al Alvarez was awarded the Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature for 'meritorious works in poetry, fiction, history and belles lettres'. He lives in London.