Indigo: In Search of the Colour That Seduced the World by Catherine E McKinley - review by Diana Athill

Diana Athill

Purple Prose

Indigo: In Search of the Colour That Seduced the World


Bloomsbury 256pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Indigo mimics and holds all that is in my eye: blackness and light, birth and death, the passages between them. Indigo is not really a colour, it is not a cloth I realized. It is only the tangible intangible. The attempt to capture beauty, to hold the elusive, the fine layer of skin between the two. Death is a praising of life; death teaches us how to live. Colour, cloth is simply the praise song. And so I embraced blackness as my route to blue.

If that quotation from early in this book appeals to you, you will enjoy Catherine McKinley’s story – a story in which fact is often obscured by feeling. I confess to having had a hard time getting through it, made harder by the writer’s slapdash approach to syntax, which

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