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If You Should Fail

A Book of Solace

Joe Moran



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05 November 2020
To fail is human. Get used to it...

Do you ever feel like a failure? Enter widely acclaimed observer of daily life Professor Joe Moran, not to tell you that everything will be OK in the end, but to reassure you that failure is an occupational hazard of being human. It is the small print in life's terms and conditions.

If You Should Fail is about how modern life, in a world of broadcasting success, makes us feel like failures, frauds and imposters; so we need more narratives of failures, and to see that not every failure can be made into a success - and that's OK.

It is encouraging to read that the seemingly invincible Leonardo da Vinci or Virginia Woolf, for example, felt like failures. Woolf wrote that she wanted to 'look life in the face and to know it for what it is'; the truth is cruel, but it can be loved.

Combining philosophy, psychology, history and literature, Moran's ultimately upbeat reflections on being human and his critique of how we live now offers comfort and hope. As Samuel Beckett advised, despair young and never look back . . .
Imprint:   Viking
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 204mm,  Width: 138mm,  Spine: 21mm
Weight:   264g
ISBN:   9780241422793
ISBN 10:   0241422795
Pages:   176
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Joe Moran is Professor of English and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University and is the author of eight books, including Queuing for Beginners- The Story of Daily Life from Breakfast to Bedtime, Armchair Nation- An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV, Shrinking Violets- The Secret Life of Shyness and First You Write a Sentence. He writes for, among others, the Guardian, the New Statesman and the Times Literary Supplement.

Reviews for If You Should Fail: A Book of Solace

I really love Joe Moran's work, he writes with such generosity and kindness -- Tiffany Watt Smith Joe Moran is a wonderfully sharp writer, calm, precise and quietly comical -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday * Joe Moran is the most perceptive and original observer of British life that we have -- Matthew Engel Moran is a past master at producing fine, accessible non-fiction -- Helen Davies * Sunday Times * Moran is a wonderful, witty writer -- Marcus Berkmann * Daily Mail * A fascinating insight. Moran's honesty is brilliantly raw and uncomfortable at times, but under the apparently bleak message on the surface there is an uplifting truth to be found. For myself, the concept of failure has been redefined -- Matthew Parris Joe Moran is a brilliant historian. He makes the humdrum riveting -- Matthew Engel This is a deeply tender book, and full of wise insight and honesty. Moran manages to be funny, erudite and kindly: a rare - and compelling - combination. This is the essential antidote to a culture obsessed with success. Read it -- Madeleine Bunting

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