Graves has the unique perspective of being in the middle and a bridge between the command that used soldiers as canon fodder and didn’t fight, and those that were the fodder and lost their lives so meaninglessly.
Usually, I would consider White Out too new to review here, but I made an exception because it has that certain something more that makes a book timeless. It looks at a subject in a way that is entirely unique and entirely new.
My summer of reading non-fiction continues with two selections — Lucy Grealy’s Autobiography of a Face, and Ann Patchett’s Truth and Beauty. The two books naturally go together and I’ve decided to review them together here because I feel like they end up completing each other.
Vyner decided to write Fraser’s biography via extensive interviews with the people who knew him, including herself and her own memories of him. It’s an interesting mix of individuals and viewpoints because not only does she have statements from his mother and various relatives, the reader also gets to hear from famous musicians, as well as famous artists.
While Lowell is perhaps not exactly a well-known name outside of academic and literary circles, Lowell has a lasting influence on modern poets, writers, and scholarship.
She not only describes depression in a way that goes beyond the hallmark of profound sadness — she also discusses the feelings of being overwhelmed and the incapability of focussing on even simple tasks. She discusses the desire to see life in small objects like birds and flowers when one feels so utterly lifeless themselves.
Diana Athill’s After a Funeral details her experience of being friends with a man who is profoundly destructive both to himself and to everyone around him.
What constitutes an easy death? Or a difficult one? Though her mother’s death was considered ‘easy’ by doctors, it still involved pain, suffering, and turmoil.
He details stories that float around the county, amongst the men working the fields, and also the stories that women trade while they sew around the dining room table and children play around their feet. Those stories mark time. They are shared county history.
he doesn’t shy away from what happened to her, but neither does she use it to shock the reader. Instead, she writes of the horror with blunt honesty, and brutality tempered with careful sentence level consideration and a language that is powerful, yet never gratuitous.