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Burning the Days


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An unforgettable book of passion, ambition, and what it means to become a writer.

About the Author

James Salter is the author of numerous books, including the novels Solo Faces, Light Years, A Sport and a Pastime, The Arm of Flesh (revised as Cassada), The Hunters and All That Is; the memoirs Gods of Tin and Burning the Days; the collections Dusk and Other Stories, which won the 1989 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Last Night, which won the Rea Award for the Short Story and the PEN/Malamud Award; and Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days, written with Kay Salter. He lives in New York and Colorado.


'A wise and sensual memoir. Salter writes his self-portrait by focusing on what has shaped him, by showing what he has loved and admired and feared to become in others. You cannot put it down' Michael Ondaatje
'Salter writes wonderfully of a world most of his readers will never have known' Observer
'A masterwork of memory, deeply impressive and deeply moving' Time Out
One of the great literary memoirs . . . there is nothing better in English about what it is like to fly' * Spectator *
A stylish and moving account of his various incarnations as a fighter pilot, rock climber, screenwriter and novelist . . . written in the heroic language of an American memoir * New Statesman *
An extraordinarily gifted composer of prose . . . [a] teller of memorable stories. . . . It isn't often that a writer of superlative skills knows enough about flying to write well about it; Saint-Exuperywas one; Salter is another * New York Times Book Review *
He can bestow a powerful aura of glamour and heightened significance to even the most casual encounter . . . entertaining, sharply observed . . . pure and ravishing * The Nation *
[His] account of air combat in Korea . . . stands as a masterpiece of battle writing in this century . . . His prose is in flight * Los Angeles Times Book Review *
A dazzling book . . . so full of splendid writing that at times the overwhelmed reader may blink like a sleeper awaking to hard light * Philadelphia Inquirer *
No man who is even remotely honest with himself can read Burning the Days without envy; no woman of similar truthfulness will fail to find Salter's life deeply romantic -- John Irving * Toronto Globe and Mail *
A wonderful book by a sensitive author who is romantic, intelligent, and superbly balanced. It is a serene account of a surprising diversity of experiences, but it is also a history of my time -- Joseph Heller
A classic memoir, alive with amazing people, fabulous events, and extraordinary stories of war and love and the great wide world. Through the sheer and sensual force of his writing (and nobodywrites more beautifully), James Salter hasn't only recollected the past, he's reclaimed it -- Michael Herr
A magnificent tour-de-force, the pressure of Salter's high romantic soul animates his crisp, rich, neo-classical prose to bring us page after page of narrative magic -- Frank Conroy
If you were to mark every section worth remembering you'd end up with folded corners on every page, scrawls in every paragraph * GQ *
Every sentence is fantastic * Observer *
It is years since I read a sharper, more arresting autobiography * Spectator *
Wonderful * Daily Telegraph *
He has written three books that everyone should read before they die: A Sport and a Pastime, Light Years and his recollections, Burning the Days * Independent *

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