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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs

A Factotum in the Book Trade

by (author) Marius Kociejowski

Initial publish date
Nov 2021
Personal Memoirs, Editors, Journalists, Publishers, Books, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price

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A lifelong antiquarian bookseller’s memoir describes the trade from the factotum’s perspective—and in doing so reveals its ticklish underbelly.

A memoir of life in the antiquarian book trade, in London, England, and, in keeping with Kociejowski’s travel writing, a journey through people’s lives. Beginning with his childhood in rural Ontario, where at the annual village jumble sale he would buy books not so much for their content as for their tactile qualities, and from there to Ottawa, where he first learned books can have a value, and from there to England, where he fell into the book trade almost by accident, A Factotum in the Book Trade is an elegy for a floating world on the cusp of disappearance

About the author

Marius Kociejowski was born 1949, in Kemptville, outside of Ottawa. He has published three collections of poetry in England: Coast (Greville Press, awarded the Cheltenham Prize, 1991), Doctor Honoris Causa and Music's Bride (both Anvil Press). He has also published essays on various topics, mainly on people, travel and literature. Recently he completed The Street Philosopher & the Holy Fool, a travelogue based on five journeys he made to Syria. He lives in London, England

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Editorial Reviews

Praise for Marius Kociejowski

"Kociejowski draws on all the aspects of his life in these engaging, idiosyncratic personal essays ... [that] proffer the reader equal measures of autobiography, insight and quirky charm." —Michael Dirda, Washington Post

“Here the charm is deep, the splendour unlaboured; the colours of history, reckoned afresh, saturate singular people, in whom passion is lucid is one who collects his extraordinary resources, and strides.”—Christopher Middleton

“It is a testament to the power of this superb book that I felt not despondency, but ... elation."—Adam Thorpe, Times Literary Supplement

"Treasures are revealed ... with a formidable erudition, and at their best they gleam with an enameled splendour."—Ken Babstock, Globe and Mail

"Kociejowski writes beautifully ... unusual, poetic, and thought-provoking."—Library Journal

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