Henrietta Garnett

Reassembling The Jigsaw



Hamish Hamilton 370pp £20 order from our bookshop

Quicksand is Sybille Bedford’s long-awaited autobiography. As with many of her generation (she is ninety-four), hers is a disturbing and moving story. Bedford has written relatively little, and most of what she has written is the same story shown from different points of view. The story is her own. She writes slowly, painstakingly, and finds the act torture. Most writers do. An intriguingly late developer, she has produced three masterpieces (and I do not use the word lightly). A Visit to Don Otavio (1953) purports to be a travel book about Mexico but is really a novel about Don Otavio, a ruined aristocrat whose brothers determine on turning his beautiful eighteenth-century hacienda into the most frightful kind of hotel imaginable. Her much acclaimed first novel, The Legacy (1956), and its sequel, the biographical novel Jigsaw (1989), both teasingly tamper with the truth. Jigsaw was understandably nominated for the Booker Prize.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,