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Amateurs In Eden

The Story of a Bohemian Marriage: Nancy and Lawrence Durrell
  • Author
    • Joanna Hodgkin
Regular price £10.99
Regular price Sale price £10.99
Nancy Durrell was a woman famous for her silences. Anaïs Nin said 'I think often of Nancy's most eloquent silences, Nancy talking with her fingers, her hair, her cheeks, a wonderful gift. Music again.' As the first wife Lawrence Durrell, author of The Alexandria Quartet, it is perhaps surprising that she is an unknown entity, a constant presence in the biographies of Durrell and others in the Bloomsbury set, yet always a shadowy figure, beautiful and enigmatic.

But who was the woman who was with Durrell during the most important years of his development as a writer? Joanna Hodgkin decides to retrace her mother's fascinating story: the escape from her toxic and mysterious family; the years in bohemian literary London and Paris in the 1930s; marriage to Durrell and their discovery of the 'Eden' of pre-war Corfu and her desperate struggle to survive in Palestine alone with a small child as the British Mandate collapsed. Amateurs in Eden is a fascinating biography of a literary marriage and of an unusual woman struggling to live an independent life.
  • Published: Feb 01 2013
  • Pages: 352
  • 196 x 128mm
  • ISBN: 9781844087945
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Press Reviews

  • Miranda Seymour

    Sunday Times
    Frank and captivating . . . rich in charm and pathos . . . Hodgkin has done both Nancy and herself proud with this fresh portrait of a marriage we thought we knew, and of a woman we have never known well enough
  • Olivia Laing

    It's a cracking story, and Hodgkin is a meticulous researcher
  • D.J Taylor

    Literary Review
    The animating spirit that pulses through this joint biography is to be thoroughly applauded
  • Independent
    This is not just a memoir of her mother. This is the history of a literary wife. On both counts, Hodgkin succeeds beautifully . . . Her story is not a footnote; it is absolutely central
  • Scotland on Sunday
    A truly fascinating account of one of those many women, the wives and the girlfriends and the sisters of famous literary men, who have lived a twilight existence in the shadows of the historical canon. A particularly rich and honest account
  • Blake Morrison

    An enjoyable, revisionist account of a bohemian marriage