Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Reading and writing and falling in coils

I finished Sybille Bedford's 'A Legacy' last weekend, and it's wonderful; quite unlike anything else I've read. At moments, there are echoes of Henry James or Edith Wharton, but really, the novel is entirely itself. Then moved on to Penelope Fitzgerald's novel, 'The Gate of Angels', which is very different in tone (set in London and Cambridge in 1911), but equally remarkable. Anyway, both are highly recommended, if you haven't yet discovered them. Since then, I have fallen down the stairs, and am currently contemplating a disturbingly painful bruise on my foot; yet feeling distracted by the outline of my next book, at the same time as being completely absorbed within it. All quite discombobulating; as if I'm inhabiting two different landscapes (internal and external), and tonight they are jarring with each other, like the bones in my right foot.

11 comments:

Gondal-girl said...

Happ discombobulating Justine- hope the time out with the foot gives you optimum marinating on the new idea time. Would love to know what it is, but I also know these things are best kept close to the chest.x

enid said...

Oh dear - I do hope the foot heals. Thanks for the 2 recommendations. I found the Bedford second hand and just love the old orange penguin edition. There is something very lovely about reading them. Get better and be careful.

Justine Picardie said...

Thanks. I hardly dare mention the new book, in case I destroy it in doing so... So I'm too superstitious to say it's beginning to take shape, but I think blog friends might recognise some elements from previous discussions here...

Lilacs In May said...

Excited about what the new book idea is. Just finished thewonderful life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell, I really loved it. I can't bear to start another book yet, it has done what all the best books do, stayed with me, enveloped me

jaywalker said...

I've just read the first few pages of Legacy courtesy of amazon (and you, Justine) and will order it. I so wanted to keep going. Hope the foot is recovering by now.

Justine Picardie said...

I always thought Mrs Gaskell's biography of Charlotte Bronte was as enjoyable as fiction as fact. It's a wonderful book, but quite inaccurate in places; as if Mrs G was intent on turning her friend into the Angel of the House. Juliet Barker's book, the Brontes, is very good at setting the record straight.

Lilacs In May said...

Thank you. Mrs Gaskell was the kind of friend I'd like to write my biography! By coincidence I found Juliet Barkers book yesterday in Waterstones, and lugged it home with me. Hope the foot is getting better.

Donna said...

Hi Justine,

Hope your foot is soon better. I'm after some advice from a journalist friend ;~) and wondered if you can help. Can you email me pretty please and I will explain Donna_Hill12@msn.com and I will reply from email addy I use all the time.

Thinking of you and was especially so, on May day. Much love Donna x

kairu said...

So intriguing, the hint of a new book!

Adding 'A Legacy' and 'The Gate of Angels' to my extremely long list of Books to Read. It's getting quite out of hand. I was at a reading of some Harold Pinter works recently (part of a series that a local actor puts on here in Seattle) and so have been rereading Antonia Fraser's 'Must You Go?' which is very lovely and moving...

I hope your foot is better soon, Justine! Spring has come; the lilacs are blooming now, and the sky stays light until after dinner...

Knitting Out Loud said...

Hope your foot recovers soon! I loved The Bookshop, and will look for The Gate of Angels. Your new book, yay!
Barker's book is on my shelf, will plunge in today (perfect reading day, cold and rainy with the wood stove going).

Mantiz said...

It is indeed a great book, you are right when the reading evoke those names.
pharmacy reviews