Why Didn’t You Just Do What You Were Told?
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‘A tonic for the soul … I was so absorbed by her writing it was unreal’ Emilia Clarke
‘Nothing about Jenny Diski is conventional. Diski does not do linear, or normal, or boring … highly intelligent, furiously funny’ Sunday Times
‘She expanded notions about what nonfiction, as an art form, could do and could be’ New Yorker
Jenny Diski was a fearless writer, for whom no subject was too difficult, even her own cancer diagnosis. Her columns in the London Review of Books – selected here by her editor and friend Mary-Kay Wilmers, on subjects as various as death, motherhood, sexual politics and the joys of solitude – have been described as ‘virtuoso performances’, and ‘small masterpieces’.
From Highgate Cemetery to the interior of a psychiatric hospital, from Tottenham Court Road to the icebergs of Antarctica, Why Didn’t You Just Do What You Were Told? is a collective interrogation of the universal experience from a very particular psyche: original, opinionated – and mordantly funny.
One of the most electrifying memoirists of her generation ... A superb volume of autobiographical fragments * Daily Telegraph * One of the most inventive writers of her generation * Independent * She is savagely good company * Daily Telegraph * Diski is one of the language's great, if under-appreciated, stylists * Guardian * The appeal of Diski's essays was the appeal of Diski herself ... brilliant, irritable, mordant, and humane * Paris Review * Funny, heartbreaking, insightful and wise -- Emilia Clarke
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