JENNY DISKI    Book Number: 83231    Product format: Hardback

What do you do with an inoperable cancer diagnosis, wonders Jenni Diski. Wear a badge, swim inordinate lengths? Does the money go to university labs, to Jeremy Hunt? Should she affirm her atheism or collapse into religious comfort? What Diski does is write a compelling and very personal memoir, starting with the novelist Doris Lessing, who took her in when she was expelled from school and undergoing psychiatric treatment. For four years they negotiated the 1960s together. Doris took a pragmatic approach to sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, though the gynaecologist decided not to give Jenny contraception on discovering she was only 15. Even Doris was perturbed as Jenny spent nights and days hanging out in Soho at the Colony Club, but in spite of it all, she was learning to cope with others and herself. The book fast-forwards to the experience of chemo, and now Jenny is coping with the institutionalisation, the uncertainty, the sense of desertion when the chemo has finished and the nurses are no longer there 24/7. Jenny is lucky to have her husband constantly with her, referred to affectionately as The Poet. She sees herself in a race with other high-profile cancer writers. Will she beat Henning Mankell, Clive James? Then in the final section Doris's death is announced, and Jenny remembers their relationship as it developed over the years. Paradoxically, this memoir of dying is a story of survival, bursting with life. 250pp.
Published price: $31
Bibliophile price: £1.50

Additional product information

ISBN 9781632866868
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