Over a period of 30 years, Graham Swift (born in 1949) has published eight novels that have all received significant critical praise, but the writer himself has preferred to stay away from the media and refuses to indulge in literary celebrity. In 1983, after having published two novels and one collection of short stories, Swift appeared in Granta’s selection of the 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ together with Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan and Salman Rushdie. That same year, he published his third novel to great acclaim: Waterland, which is discussed at length in the following interview, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, won several awards and in 1992 was turned into a film starring Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke, directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal. In 1996, Last Orders won the Booker Prize as well as the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and in 2001 was adapted for the cinema by Fred Schepisi and starred Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins. Waterland and Last Orders are probably Swift s most celebrated novels and the ones that attracted most critical attention. Both reveal his great interest in history and the past, his close attention to the details of ordinary life, as well as his elaborate handling of narrative voice and his subtle exploration of family secrets, disorders and traumas.
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