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Very good lives : the fringe benefits of failure and the importance of imagination / J. K. Rowling ; [illustrations by Joel Holland]

By: Rowling, J. K [author.].
Contributor(s): Holland, Joel [illustrator.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Sphere, 2015Description: 69 pages : illustrations (some colour) ; 21 cm.Content type: text | still image Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781408706787.Subject(s): Failure (Psychology) | Success | Imagination | Fear | Anxiety | Self-actualization (Psychology) | Psychology, AppliedDDC classification: 158 Summary: In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very good lives presents J.K. Rowling's words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life. How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others? Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world famous author addresses some of life's most important questions with acuity and emotional force.
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due
Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Non-Fiction
Non-Fiction 158 ROW Available
Non-Fiction Suzanne Aubert Library at Jerusalem
Non-Fiction
Non-Fiction 158 ROW 2 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling's words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?

Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of life's most important issues with acuity and emotional force.

Sales of Very Good Lives will benefit Lumos, a charity organisation founded by J.K. Rowling, which works to transform the lives of disadvantaged children, and university-wide financial aid at Harvard University.

In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very good lives presents J.K. Rowling's words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life. How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others? Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world famous author addresses some of life's most important questions with acuity and emotional force.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Kirkus Book Review

Harry Potter's creator faces a crowd of uber-Mugglesthe graduating class of Harvard Universitywhom she enjoins to stretch their minds and be awesome. Today, Rowling (The Casual Vacancy, 2012, etc.) is massively wealthy, but that wasn't the case a quarter-century ago, when she was "as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain without being homeless." That condition might have been an I-told-you-so moment for the parents who worried that by pursuing a degree in classics she was setting herself up for penury. "Of all the subjects on this planet," she writes, "I think they would have been hard put to name one less useful than Greek mythology when it came to securing the keys to an executive bathroom." Instead, she tells her eager audience, it was a wake-up call: she had failed dramatically, and about the only place to go was up, which is, after all, the lesson one hopes to learn from failure. The classics prove steadfast companions in this brief volume. Though she's best known for a few Latin taglines by way of magical spells, Rowling makes neat connections between the challenges of modern life and the tutelary examples of Seneca, Plutarch, and the other ancients. While she discounts the ennobling aspects of poverty and misery, it's also clear that her education provided her with some steel to face those hardships. The author's quiet praise of liberal education forms one theme. A second, the importance of the imagination, is perhaps the more expected one, but Rowling takes a nicely unsettling detour by recounting her time spent working for Amnesty International and witnessing how monstrous people can be. The unimaginative, she ventures, are more afraid of the world than the imaginative and in turn, "enable real monsters." That second matter is a point that could stand elaboration. On the strength of this sharp, inspirational piece, we hope that Rowling will add a book of essays to her CV. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.