Samantha Ellis

Writing Therapy

Late Fragments

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Girl in the Dark

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In ‘On Being Ill’, Virginia Woolf found it ‘strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature’. In her memoir, Late Fragments, written as she was dying of cancer, Kate Gross wonders if this is because, as with childbirth, we erase the memory of illness as soon as it is over: ‘And if it is not over; well, what follows is death, and the grave is hardly conducive to the creative spirit.’ Gross died, at the age of thirty-six, on Christmas Day 2014. Before that, she wrote this wise, luminous book.

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