John Sutherland

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Outside of a Dog: A Bibliomemoir


Constable & Robinson 286pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Rick Gekoski’s ‘bibliomemoir’ opens with a telling anecdote. He split from his wife, Barbara, in the 1980s. They moved to separate residences. She took temporary custody of his books, his new place being short on shelves. When, after the decree, he had finally made room for his treasures, she declined to hand them over. It precipitated an existential crisis: ‘My books were gone. It prompted the questions, at once psychological and metaphysical: Was I still me? Who am I with no books?’ The loss of a spouse of twenty years was, one gathers, nothing by comparison.

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