Thursday, April 23, 2009

Book: Alfred & Emily -- April 24, 2009

Doris Lessing talks about how World War One damaged her parents and how the trenches continue to haunt her 90 years later. In the first half of Alfred & Emily, she writes an alternate biography, imagining what her parents' lives might have been like, and what Britain might have been like, if World War One had not happened. I liked this part. It was a fairy tale with a realistic edge.

In the second half of the book, she presents a series of short items about what really happened to her parents, what the family's lives were like in Southern Rhodesia, and her issues with her mother. I was struck by her repeated comments about how her father's diabetes would have been treated differently today.

I had not read any of her stories since I was in college.

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