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Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked

James Lasdun

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Published by Jonathan Cape, part of Vintage Publishing

Format: Hardback


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EAN: 9780224096621
Published: 14 Feb 2013


About the book


A true story of obsessive love turning to obsessive hate, Give Me Everything You Have chronicles the author’s strange and harrowing ordeal at the hands of a former student, a self-styled ‘verbal terrorist’, who began trying, in her words, to ‘ruin him’. Hate-mail – much of it violently anti-Semitic – online postings and public accusations of theft and sexual misconduct, have been her weapons of choice, and, as with more conventional terrorist weapons, have proved remarkably difficult to combat.

James Lasdun’s account, while terrifying, is told with compassion and humour, and brilliantly succeeds in turning a highly personal story into a profound meditation on subjects as varied as madness, race, Middle-Eastern politics, and the meaning of honour and reputation in the internet age.

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What the critics say

What is...most riveting about this strange and unsettling book is not the grim fascination of Lasdun’s situation; it’s the moral intelligence and intensity with which he examines it.
- Observer

Give Me Everything You Have is a reminder, as if any were needed, of how easily, since the arrival of the Internet, our peace can be troubled and our good name besmirched.
- J. M. Coetzee

James Lasdun’s extraordinary tale of erotic obsession is so gripping...there is no greater narcotic than insanity combined with lust
- Sunday Times

A riveting memoir... This must be the most informative, the most insightful, and the most beautifully written of any account from the victim’s perspective of what has come to be called 'cyberbullying'.
- Joyce Carol Oates

An extraordinarily odd and disturbing story… The poet in him is skilled at following tiny snags of thought into marvellous, rich mini-essays.
- Guardian

[Lasdun] has created an elaborate tale of psychological warfare and survival, a gripping testament to the axiom that despite its risks in the twenty-first century, writing well is still the best revenge.
- Times Literary Supplement

It is [his] willingness to appropriate his worst experience that shows Lasdun’s true courage as a writer and that enables him to turn his book into something more than just another memoir.
- New Statesman

On every page, Lasdun’s prose is absorbing, involving and perfectly expressed.
- New York Times

Being cyber-bullied is terrifying; Lasdun, who is an excellent writer, conveys this beautifully… In brief: some people are crazy. The internet can amplify their crazy thought. Mud sticks. Hence this book, which is brilliant.
- Spectator

James Lasdun’s Give Me Everything You Have is an autobiographical work, rare, beautiful, bitter, and profoundly accepting of his own experience: a former female student stalks him viciously for years. The story Lasdun tells is applicable to all human experience.
- Paula Fox

A striking account by this feted writer and poet of being cyberstalked.
- Guardian

An elegant meditation on insecurity and paranoia.
- Sunday Telegraph

I expect it to be as brilliantly written as it is chilling.
- Observer

The invisible thread of the deeply personal runs throughout.
- Scotsman

A thoughtful and courageous memoir.
- Daily Telegraph

As personal as a memoir can get.
- Stylist

Fascinating and creepy.
- Glasgow Herald

James Lasdun’s Give Me Everything You Have is a classic of true crime. It is an account of a long and terrifying ordeal in which the author has, for years, been stalked, threatened and defamed by an obsessed woman, an ex-student of his. I had selected Give Me Everything You Have from the tall stack of books next to my bed for a nightcap read but was up until dawn with it. The author recounts the details of this spectacular persecution with wisdom, moments of humor, and grace.
- Norman Rush

What makes the book interesting…is not the grisly details of the exchange but Lasdun’s thoughtful analytic prose as he tries to process the strange assault that threatened to engulf his life.
- Esquire

As with any kind of bullying, the victim, simply by virtue of being victimised, becomes an object of scrutiny and self-scrutiny. In writing his book, Lasdun has perhaps finally illuminated that personal darkness, and shone a light for anyone who’s ever experienced anything similar.
- GQ

Give Me Everything You Have is as compelling as it is terrifying, a book Lasdun had to write.
- The National

Gripping and unsettling.
- Sunday Times

Discomfiting, often brilliant… One of the first accounts of internet stalking, and for that reason alone it should be read.
- Independent

A powerful treatise on the power of the internet as a tool for harm.
- Financial Times

Terrifically good on what it’s like to feel you have lost control of your own life.
- Daily Mail

Engrossing new memoir… A fascinating and eminently readable account of his experience… The book is also an astute mediation on anti-Semitism, online harassment, the nature of obsession and the power of the written word. His measured narrative has the suspense of a psychological thriller.
- Economist

In telling this tale, it feels as though [Lasdun] is giving his stalker – and us – everything he has.
- Quietus

[A] luminous study of the experience of being stalked
- Sunday Telegraph

Lasdun's extraordinary tale of erotic obsession is so gripping that I read the first 70 pages in one buttock-clenching rush
- Sunday Times

Again, [Lasdun] writes with clarity; again, his work is compelling
- Evening Standard

Haunting and unsettling to be sure, Give Me Everything You Have is a powerful piece of writing and a highly recommended read
- Bookmunch

About the Author

James Lasdun was born in London and now lives in upstate New York. He has published two novels as well as several collections of short stories and poetry. His work has been adapted for film by Bernardo Bertolucci in Besieged and for the Sundance award-winning Sunday. He has been long-listed for the Booker Prize, shortlisted for the LA Times, T.S. Eliot and Forward prizes in poetry, and was the winner of the inaugural UK/BBC Short Story Prize. His non-fiction has been published in Harpers, Granta and the London Review of Books.

James Lasdun

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