.Don’t ask. This is a blog-by-blog, not a blow-by-blow. Blogs are more fun. I’m still catching up with books and words…Briefly:
Radiation Diaries : Cancer, Memory and Fragments of a Life in Words (2018, Fentum Press, London), by Janet Todd. A highly regarded writer- biographer with many books to her credit, she kept a journal of her experiences undergoing radiation for cancer of the bowels. Horrible, graphic, funny, literary, her writing, i.e., her. courage and personality dominate.
In my Mind’s Eye (2018, first American Edition), by Jan Morris, is a charming journal reporting on a year in the the life of the prolific nonagenarian writer. I love journals. I love the insights into another person’s life and atttiudes. They provide guides and stimuli for my own (octogenarian) writing.
I am just starting The Backwash of War: An Extraordinary American Nurse in World War I, by Ellen N. La Motte (1873-1961), an American nurse reporting on her volunteer work in French hospitals during te war to end all wars. Her writing is horribly graphic and unrelenting. Her book was banned publication by her initial publishers in France and England, permitted in the USA (before the States entered the war) but subsequently banned/censored/ignored. I bought a recent (2019, Johns Hopkins Press) printing, which includes three War Essays and a bibliography of Significant Publications. I haven’t got to the harrowing part, still reading the introduction and biography by her editor and restorer, who writes a bunch of spoilers. I’ll get to it.