The author of Cloud Atlas sets his fifth novel in the late 18th century period of Japanese history known as Sakoku
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In 2009, writer Alain de Botton was invited by the Heathrow airport authorities to spend a week there. He (and photographer Richard Barker) recorded the life of the airport, speaking to the people around — from window cleaners and travellers to pilots. The result was a book titled A Week At the Airport: A Heathrow Diary, evidently the inspiration for the title of Denis Stone’s book. Stone, Heathrow airport’s longest-serving resident photographer, has indeed spent a life at the airport — 64 years, to be precise. He began work as a messenger boy at the age of 14, moving on to documenting the airport. But his focus was very specific: celebrities. There are accounts that call him the ‘granddaddy of celebrity photography’. It must be true; as you leaf through the photographs in this book, you can’t help but wonder why you thought airports were dull places. For here are Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Richard Branson, Pamela Anderson, Naomi Campbell and a host of others, often wonderfully relaxed and smiling at Stone. There are some world leaders and royalty, and more than a few musicians, but Heathrow’s resident photographer clearly had a thing for Hollywood stars.
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