Jenny Diski - Little, Brown Book Group

Jenny Diski



Jenny Diski is the author of eight novels and two memoirs: Skating to Antarctica and Stranger on a Train. She lives in Cambridge.
Virago

Apology For The Woman Writing

Jenny Diski
Authors:
Jenny Diski

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.

Virago

What I Don't Know About Animals

Jenny Diski
Authors:
Jenny Diski
Virago

On Trying To Keep Still

Jenny Diski
Authors:
Jenny Diski

Jenny Diski's attempt to keep still and mentally idle resulted in a year in which she travelled to New Zealand, spent two months almost alone in a cottage in the country and visited the Sámi people of Lapland. Diski, fails to keep still and, like the philosopher Montaigne, keeps a record of her ramblings both mental and physical hoping as he did in time to make her mind ashamed of itself. Interspersed with ill-tempered descriptions of these trips are digressions on the subject of her sore foot; her childhood desire for 'a condition', thoughts about growing older, spiders, fundamentalism and the problems of keeping warm.

Virago

After These Things

Jenny Diski
Authors:
Jenny Diski
Virago

Skating To Antarctica

Jenny Diski
Authors:
Jenny Diski
Virago

Stranger On A Train

Jenny Diski
Authors:
Jenny Diski

In spite of the fact that her idea of travel is to stay home with the phone off the hook, Jenny Diski takes a trip around the perimeter of the USA by train. Somewhat reluctantly she meets all kinds of characters, all bursting with stories to tell and finds herself brooding about the marvellously familiar landscape of America, half-known already through film and television. Like the pulse of the train over the rails, the theme of the dying pleasures of smoking thrums through the book, along with reflections on the condition of solitude and the nature of friendship and memories triggered by her past times in psychiatric hospitals. Cutting between her troubled teenaged years and contemporary America, the journey becomes a study of strangers, strangeness and estrangement - from oneself, as well as from the world.

Virago

A View From The Bed And Other Observations

Jenny Diski
Authors:
Jenny Diski

As a general rule I try to maintain a balanced and realistic approach to life. I'm convinced that the best place for a rabbit's foot is at the end of a rabbit's leg. And if there are fairies at the bottom of the garden, they go about their business and I go about mine. But although this approach keeps life on an even keel and prevents the stress of both over-excitement and grave disappointment, I do find that the perfectly mundane existence that I strive for and attain can occasionally seem a little flat, a bit lacking in absurdity. So from time to time, when a rattling cliche, or a good thumping banality presents itself, I'm inclined to give it a run for its money. Hand me a candle and I'll burn it at both ends, give me a cart and I'll put it before the horse.'In her inimitable style, coupled with her sharp wit and idiosyncratic views, Diski reviews her own experiences, an array of key historical figures and pertinent topics. Ranging from 'The Sexual Life of Catherine M.' and her ponderings on the thrill of guilt, to the biblical role of water in 'Did Jesus walk on water because he couldn't swim?' this is vintage Diski.

Virago

Nothing Natural

Jenny Diski
Authors:
Jenny Diski

Nothing Natural centres with illuminating precision on a sado-masochistic relationship. Rachel is in her thirties, a single parent admired by her friends for her self-sufficiency ... But when she meets the compelling, sinister Joshua she discovers another side to herself ... In a sense which horrifies her, she has found herself ... An outstandingly well-written novel' New StatesmanAn addictive story of a dangerous love affair with a shocking denoument, this is a complex examination of the relations between the sexes at their most combatative and collusive. It is a clever book with much to tell us about the nature of desire and what should or should not be permissable.

Virago

Only Human: A Divine Comedy

Jenny Diski
Authors:
Jenny Diski

Having seen enough of the results of autonomy and imagination with Adam and Eve, and dull obedience in the shape of the dutiful Noah, God tried once more to infiltrate humanity by seeking a solitary man whose history he could control and develop. Abraham was his chosen one. But accidents happen, unforeseen consequences of the best laid plans. Not even God, it appears, is exempt from jealousy. When the Lord made his final creation on earth, love came along for the ride and caused havoc, even to the Creator himself. Between the way of the world and the way of love, no one is safe. As the Creator and the barren wife wage war, they struggle not only over the affections of Abraham, and control of posterity, but the very notion of truth and storytelling. This brilliant, bitter-comic love story asks awkward questions about the nature of love and faith, and incidentally throws new light on the motivations of our superior Being...