The Lost Art of Losing is a collection of thoughts, rants and aphorisms published by Vagabond Voices in 2012. By turns comic and despairing, jubilant and wry, it presents, through fragments, a picture of a mind – and of troubling times.
“Chesterton said that novels are written for the sake of five or six words. Gregory Norminton has dispensed with the dross and given us nothing but the real thing: a whole library of “five or six words” in their magnificent, illuminating, witty and moving essence.”
“Gregory Norminton has given way to a dangerous urge to aphorize but shapes his little pieces remarkably well. Some are witty, some provocative, some self-revelatory and touching to read. A companionable little volume that brings fresh life to a venerable form.”
Andrew Miller, winner of the 2011 Costa Book Award
“While this collection of aphorisms by the novelist Gregory Norminton is indeed a little book, it is not a little book of calm. It is – at its best, and most useful – the opposite: a little book of unease. Were one to eat it, the result would be an uncomfortable feeling of mild indigestion… You can’t get this kind of thing spot on every time. But Norminton should be saluted for trying, and he hits the nail on the head much more often than he hits his thumb. After all, human beings – I forget who said this – will do almost anything to avoid thinking; and aphorisms, more than any branch of literature, force us to do just that. No wonder they are out of fashion.”
Nicholas Lezard, Choice of the Week, The Guardian
“Gregory Norminton describes himself as a “novelist and seated person.” From that sedentary position, he also writes really good aphorisms… Norminton is a fan of E.M. Cioran and La Rochefoucauld and it shows (and I mean that in a good way): their dark insights into the human condition glitter around the edges of these aphorisms. And like those two great aphorists, Norminton clearly feels no dismal truth is so bleak that it doesn’t also deserve a laugh.”
James Geary, author of The World in a Phrase: A History of Aphorisms
At the Glasgow launch, with Allan Cameron and the great Alasdair Gray.
You can buy The Lost Art of Losing here.