The Life-Writer

The Life Writer The long anticipated novel from the author of the short story In Another Country which inspired the Oscar Academy Award nominated film Years Following the death of her husband a literary biograp

  • Title: The Life-Writer
  • Author: David Constantine
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 340
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • The long anticipated novel from the author of the short story In Another Country , which inspired the Oscar Academy Award nominated film, 45Years Following the death of her husband, a literary biographer resolves to turn her professional skills to the task of piecing together aspects of his life, in particular, a journey he made years before they met a hitchhike throuThe long anticipated novel from the author of the short story In Another Country , which inspired the Oscar Academy Award nominated film, 45Years Following the death of her husband, a literary biographer resolves to turn her professional skills to the task of piecing together aspects of his life, in particular, a journey he made years before they met a hitchhike through France that he had tried to tell her about in the last few hours of his life Picking her way through bundles of letters and postcards from five decades earlier, Katrin begins to uncover a life she knew nothing of, and an expedition that exceeded anything her professional, biographical subjects ever undertook Think of me then, her husband beseeched her, at the roadside, thumb in the air, gaily setting forth, never forget me then David Constantine s passionate tale of grief and rediscovery marks only the second foray into novel writing for an author whose short fiction has won international acclaim A great work of literature, he reminds us, is never finished, it is a living and moving thing, alive in all its parts in every fibre , designed to be inexhaustible and to outlive As Katrin s journey proves, the lives of those we love are similarly inexhaustible, they keep on offering up new revelations, possessing the people they leave behind, and forever needing to be re written commapress

    One thought on “The Life-Writer”

    1. This is a beautiful book about a literary biographer named Katrin, whose beloved husband, Eric, is dying from cancer. I had to marvel at the author’s ability to so movingly depict those last months they have together. After Eric’s death, Katrin starts reading through his paperwork and old letters and decides to write his life history in the hope that it will help her through her grief. As painful as it is, she begins to reconstruct the time frame when Eric falls passionately in love with Mon [...]

    2. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.Don't get me wrong. The writing is fantastic. I wanted to finish, I enjoyed the characters, I wanted to find out what happens to Katrin. However, I got through 70% and just couldn't take any more. So morbid, that Katrin, clearly loved by her recently deceased husband, would mourn his death by writing the story of his supposed one great love at least forty years in the past. Very well written, it wa [...]

    3. "The Life Writer" by British author David Constantine covers early widowhood, mourning, the lingering imprints and effects left behind and the need to connect with the past for a better understanding of loved ones. Dr. Katrin Szuba decided to retire from her position at an unnamed University in Surrey after the death of her beloved husband Eric. Eric had passed away before he could complete a story he was telling Katrin, as she would bravely examine his romantic past that included other women.At [...]

    4. I'd like to give this book 100 stars: it is the most lyrically beautiful, subtly evocative story of love, life, death, the natural world and the way we human beings are that I've read for a long long time. For ever, possibly. If you didn't know David Constantine was a poet (I didn't) you'd know from reading The Life-Writer's prose, but even more importantly what he writes about is what we all need to read to discover how we are when we're in love; to discover how we might be in death or when we' [...]

    5. This book was gorgeous. Like leaving me speechless gorgeous. Though I did not request the review copy that landed in my inbox, I'm so glad I was on the list because it was one of the best books I read this year. I worked on a full review for my site on how The Life-Writer helped me come to grips with grief and appreciate love, but it took me a month to finish the review because I wasn't ready for the book to end.

    6. Partly it's taken me this long to finish reading because at times 'The Life-Writer' is so unbearably painful, this story of a woman writing out her grief at the loss of her husband, that I've had to steel myself for those few pages of bedtime reading I can manage at the moment. But it's more than a bereavement tale. Katrin is a biographer and in deciding to write her husband's life story, most particularly the brief but life-affirming, life-changing passion with Monique, questions are posed abou [...]

    7. I did not get the point of this book. Not only could I not relate to the quest of the bereaved wife, I found her obsession to discover past details of her husband's life, to the detriment of her personal growth and daily living, rather sad. Completing this book was an act of personal discipline. It was a choice of my book club, or I would have discarded it early on.

    8. The descriptions of grief are beautifully rendered and the book is well written throughout. I just had trouble caring about the E and M storyline from 50 years ago. It did not sustain my interest, at all, and therefore the book became a slog.

    9. There is a moment of understated poignancy (one among many such) in David Constantine’s novel The Life-Writer when Katrin—struggling through the aftermath of her husband Eric’s death and writing his biography—realizes that his life was much more dramatic and thrilling before she became a part of it, that she only came to know him on the tranquil downside, long after the passions were quenched and the adventures were over. It is typical of the discoveries that Katrin makes, as she sorts t [...]

    10. Constantine is a writer’s writer of short stories and translations, and now of longer fiction. Constantine has a perfect ear for prose and a calm, highly detailed delivery, with occasional heightened moments (with a minimum of set pieces).The complexities and originality of this novel are literary rather than linguistic. Constantine does not embrace naturalism in that he allows his characters to have extraordinarily detailed memories, to act in extreme (but quiet) ways, to enter into unlikely [...]

    11. A well written story with a protagonist who frustrated this reader. Katrin cares for her older husband who dies of cancer and then indulges in excessive grief while investigating his life before they met. She discovers that he was unlikable and had disappointed and dismissed a brother, his parents and a good friend. In the process of learning the husband's life story, especially details about his first love whom he met in Paris, she neglects to pursue and live her own story and in the process Ka [...]

    12. I found this very moving and extraordinarily poetic in its exploration of grief and old love. There's a writerly conceit that the reader has to accept: that the protagonist, who is a writer of other people's lives, is able to imagine so much into the experiences that aren't hers. Now and then this felt like too much artifice for me, but most of the time it's enthralling. Now and then the depiction of romance and the grieving process also seemed too much, unbelievable, unhealthy, but the writing [...]

    13. This was an interesting reflection on love and grief. Katrin's husband, Eric, dies, and to deal with her grief, she seeks to know the man she loved before she knew him. He and his first wife, Edna, divorced, but it was his first love, Monique, a Parisian, who shows up at the funeral, and whose letters, most of them unopened, that reveals its impact on his later love for Katrin. The prose flowed, the protagonist's depth carries the reader through a grieving process one would not normally consider [...]

    14. Katrin sets out to write a biography of her husband, Eric, after his death from cancer. She delves into letters written in the nineteen sixties from his old love, Monique, and becomes obsessed with the narrative of that old affair. She wonders if perhaps that was his only true love and her grief is augmented by the thought that all the real meaning inher husband's life took place before they met. This is a sorrowful and beautifully written book with an ending that was surprisingly moving.

    15. I really enjoyed this book. A beautiful look at grief and love and how are perceptions of things and how they can change. Beautifully written. One suggestion, if you can read it on an ereader to make it easier with the translations (if you can't they are at the back of the book) I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

    16. Is it acceptable to rate a sample of a book? I’ve marked it ‘to read at some future point,” distracted as I am byduction(s). The short intro that I readwow.“his reading a wondrous extension, countering his own reduction—it lifted him up and out again across frontiers of space and time into the lives of others leased into further life by the imagination.”

    17. There are a load of important words to use to describe this book, probably poignant is the one to lead with. I started off engaged in the potency of descriptions of grief and the light air of mystery and then progressed to feeling, dare I say it, a touch bored. I feel guilty about that.

    18. It was like walking through mud. Just couldn't get into this book at all. Reading it felt like coercion - much like Erik felt in the first chapter. Stopped and started several times, and finally, just let it go. Perhaps, I'll reread it at some future time and feel differently.

    19. Reading this book is like listening to someone talking on and on and on about something not nearly as interesting as the speaker thinks it is. This widow's husband dated people before her. That's it. I only give one-star reviews to books that are offensively terrible so the best I can say is this didn't offend me.

    20. Truth is I'm trying so hard to accomplish my reading challenge I've been picking books based more on book length than how much it interests me. But this book I picked based on interest and I did not like it. I wanted to read this but I looked forward to that same emotional pang when I read Grief is a Thing with Feathers but, man, this book doesn't compare at all. The hatred the living feels toward the dead, as though the dead has intentionally given up on life and betrayed them, is interesting t [...]

    21. The Life-Writer by David Constantine is a slow-moving book about a woman trying to work through the grief her dead husband. She works through this grief by learning about his early life 50 years ago in 1962-63. Katrin learns that she cannot live on sorrow. The process of learning about her dead husband's early years are a help. The answer don't necessarily help, but the process does. She learns about her husband's first love, Monique, Edna, his first wife, and herself.Dr. Gracie tells Katrin, [...]

    22. 3.5 Although at times the writing is a bit dense, this novel about the stages of grief has an interesting plot concept. When Katrin's husband dies, she finds old letters from an earlier relationship. She painstakingly constructs the story of this relationship to get an inner look at his life before she knew him. Very rich.

    23. This short novel is not a quick read. The writing is so powerful that I kept rereading paragraphs just to sit with the words as they were beautifully constructed into sentences. It is a slow read in that it is a bit of a slog for plot but it is an interesting slant on grief. The surviving spouse is much younger and a biographer so her strategy for grieving is to write her husband's narrative from the time before they met. She obsessed over his life to the extent that it seems counterproductive b [...]

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