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Marie de Gournay was eighteen when she read, and was overwhelmed by, the essays of the French philosopher Montaigne. She had to be revived with hellebore. When she finally met Montaigne, she stabbed herself with a hairpin until the blood ran in order to show her devotion. He made her his adopted daughter for the two months they knew each other. He died four years later, after which, though scorned by intellectuals, she became his editor. Jenny Diski engages with this passionate and confused relationship between 'father and daughter', old writer/young acolyte, possible lovers, using both their voices. Much of their story is about absence of the people they love. In Jenny Diski's hands it becomes a fascinating tale.
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** 'A compelling and complex tale . . . Diski's prose is elegant and visceral . . . Like all good historical fiction, APOLOGY FOR THE WOMAN WRITING not only illuminates an undeservedly little-known episode of literary history, it also demonstrates a rare subtlety and sense of moral ambiguity of restrained devotion transformed by the writer's incisive eye, into art (Josephine Balmer, THE TIMES)
** 'Diski has cleverly adapted the historical sources to fashion an exceedingly literary novel... Diski's cool, modulated prose exhibits the moderation so prized by Montaigne, and Marie's fate offers a salutary warning to those of us who love books that the (Michael Arditti, INDEPENDENT)
** '4 Stars. Diski never takes the easy or obvious approach and the result is a brilliantly witty and stylishly simple look at disappointment in love and life (Tania Ahsan, METRO)
** 'The end of this sharply paced, carefully constructed and sensitively if bleakly imagined novel, with one bitter old woman watching the other bitter old woman diem is like a female version of Samuel Beckett's Endgame, Hamm and Clov together and apart b (John Spurling, SUNDAY TIMES)
* From the award-winning author of STRANGER ON A TRAIN and SKATING TO ANTARTICA, a extraordinary novel based on a real story
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Book Description Virago Press Ltd, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111844083853
Book Description Virago Press Ltd, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB1844083853
Book Description Virago Press Ltd, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1844083853