Speaking of Elizabeth Taylor …

… I was delighted to encounter her today, inside the new edition of New Books magazine.

The new book in question is The Complete Short Stories, to be published by Virago in June.

All of the stories that Virago has already published in different volumes, and a few more besides. Introduced by her daughter, Jo Kingham.

My magazine granted me a wonderful look at the mother through the daughter’s eyes:

“Writers are often asked about their method of working. My mother wrote by hand into cardboard covered exercise books as she was never one to master machinery happily. Later, when we had left home she sat at her desk, but as a child I remember her sitting in an armchair beside the fire, shoes kicked off and her feet tucked under her, ready at any time to put down her pen and attend to us. Sometimes we would tip the old sofa onto its back and perform somersaults into it while she worked beside us, using the notes she had scribbled onto the backs of envelopes or shopping lists …”

That leaves me all the more awed by wonderful qualities of her writing.

I am coming to the end of my re-read of A Wreath of Roses, the novel that reawakened my love of Elizabeth Taylor a few years ago, and I shall be writing about it and giving a copy away tomorrow.

4 responses

  1. I’ve been watching this short story collection on The Book Depository for ages now and can’t wait for it to start shipping. The more I read about Elizabeth Taylor as a person the more I like her, just the sort of woman you would love to have a cup of tea with. And looking forward to your thoughts on A Wreath of Roses, it was one of my favourites!

    • A Wreath of Roses was the book that made me realise how good she was a couple of years ago, after many years of thinking she wasn’t my sort of author. And I could imagine the two of you enjoying tea together,

  2. I certainly want to read some ET, after reading about it in the magazine and on various blogs. Perhaps I should start with this book.

    • She’s an author you really must try. But I wouldn’t necessary recommend this one to start with. I began with Angel, and there’s a readalong happening in July …

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