Born in Manchester, Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. He lives in Milan.
He is the acclaimed author of novels, non-fiction and essays, including Europa, In Extremis, A Season with Verona, Teach Us to Sit Still and Italian Ways. He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Betty Trask Prize, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the John Florio Prize and the Italo Calvino Prize.
Thomas needs to speak to his mother before she dies.
But he's set to give a talk to a conference of physiotherapists in the Netherlands; if he leaves now will he get to her deathbed in time?
Will he be able to say what he couldn't say before? He can't concentrate on what is happening now: his mind won't sit still. Should he try to solve his friend's marital crisis? Should he reconsider his separation from his own wife? And why does he need to pee again?
In Extremis is Tim Parks's masterwork: a darkly hilarious and deadly serious novel about infidelity, mortality and the frailties of the human body.
How do we find calm in our frantic modern world? Tim Parks - lifelong sceptic of all things spiritual - finds himself on a Buddhist meditation retreat trying to answer this very question. With brutal honesty and dry wit, he recounts his journey from disbelief to something approaching inner peace and tackles one of the great mysteries of our time - how to survive in this modern age.
Selected from the book Teach us to Sit Still by Tim Parks VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.
A series of short books by the world's greatest writers on the experiences that make us human Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Swimming by Roger Deakin Motherhood by Helen Simpson Work by Joseph Heller Liberty by Virginia Woolf