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Jack London
by Kenneth K. Brandt
Reaktion Books, 2021
Paper: 978-1-78914-387-4 | eISBN: 978-1-78914-388-1

Jack London (1876–1916) lived a life of excess by conventional standards. Daring, outspoken, politically radical, amazingly imaginative, and emotionally complicated, the author of literary classics such as The Call of the Wild and The Sea-Wolf emerges in Kenneth K. Brandt’s new biography as a vital and flawed embodiment of conflicting yearnings. London’s exuberant energies propelled him out of the working class to become a world-famous writer by the age of twenty-seven—after stints as a child laborer, an oyster pirate, a Pacific seaman, and a convict. He wrote extensively about his travels to Japan, the Yukon, the slums of London’s East End, Korea, Hawaii, and the South Seas. Swiftly paced, intellectually engaging, and richly dramatic, London’s writings—bolstered by their wildly clashing philosophical viewpoints derived from thinkers like Nietzsche, Marx, and Darwin—continue to engross readers with their depictions of primal urges, raw sensations, and reformist politics.

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