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This book infuriated me like no other. I can imagine every friend that truly loved Princess Diana (or any other famous person) would be left with the same feeling of theft as I did on reading this book. She calls it “Burnt Diaries” and tries to turn the book into a diary – though it was clearly written with hindsight. It has the lay-out of a diary, but is a betrayal, because no clear dates could be pinned to the events she describes. I don’t want to ignore the fact that Ted Hughes could well hav ...more
"After Ted explained metaphor to me, I find I am in the wide bed with the grubby sheets." My, this is an embarrassing book. For Ted is Ted Hughes, whom Emma Tennant loved in the 70s, yet the life he lived and the way he treated Emma, and all women, is not his alone. His noble Aztec head, but speaking, all too often, my words: "I want you for no more than one year." "We did harm," of another woman. Or the neverfailing, quietly spoken, "come back to my frosty flat." Or "next year - we shall go to ...more
Clearly the interest in these diary entries is Tennant's affair with Ted Hughes. I'd been aware of it but assumed their relationship was between his marriages. Learning this wasn't true, I wondered what motivated her to reveal it. The book was published the year following his death. I asked myself if she were publishing a juicy and profitable expose. In the end, because she continued entries about Hughes almost 2 decades after the affair ended and wrote a moving account of his memorial and his p ...more
Since the early 1970s, when she was in her mid-thirties, Emma Tennant has been a prolific novelist and has established herself as one of the leading British exponents of "new fiction." This does not mean that she is an imitator of either the French nouveaux romanciers or the American post-modernists, although her work reveals an indebtedness to the methods and preoccupations of some of the latter. ...moreMore about Emma Tennant...