Teach Us to Sit Still
A Sceptic's Search for Health and Healing
How have the modern world, technology and our addiction to information changed who we are? What effect does it have on our relationships, minds and bodies? What can the simple act of sitting still teach us about ourselves?
When Tim Parks fails to find a cause for his crippling chronic pain, he turns to meditation. This is, however, not your average self-help book or conversion story; instead, it is a refreshingly honest and profoundly moving introspection of one writer and his quest to overcome the inner battle between mind and body. A revelatory read with delightful cultural and literary references, Teach us to Sit Still by Booker-shortlisted author Tim Parks examines how the philosophy of 'sit still, relax and stop worrying' can be profoundly life-altering.
'Teach us to Sit Still made me laugh; it made me cry; and it made me seriously think about taking up Vispassana meditation' The Times
"His journey will open your mind to the possibilities of mindfulness" Polly Vernon Sunday Telegraph
Born in Manchester, Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. In 1981 he moved to Italy where he has lived ever since. He is the author of novels, non-fiction and essays, including
A Season with Verona and
Teach Us to Sit Still. He has won the Somerset Maugham, Betty Trask and Llewellyn Rhys awards, and been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He lectures on literary translation in Milan, writes for publications such as the
New Yorker and the
New York Review of Books, and his many translations from the Italian include works by Moravia, Calvino, Calasso, Tabucchi and Machiavelli.
"Teach us to Sit Still made me laugh; it made me cry; and it made me seriously think about taking up Vispassana meditation" -- Will Self The Times "A searingly honest, viscerally vivid, darkly comic self-examination of the connections between writing personality and health. Once I started reading it, I didn't want to stop" -- David Lodge Guardian "This is a crazy, wince-inducing, uplifting book... Parks has done a service to the many people who would never look at a cheesy self-help book or try anything with a whiff of spirituality about it" Financial Times "A movingly honest book that is about a great deal more than breathing and meditation" -- Susan Hill The Lady "Funny, painful and quietly profound book" -- Doug Johnstone Scotsman