Amateurs in Eden by Joanna Hodgkin
The Story of a Bohemian Marriage: Nancy and Lawrence Durrell

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Amateurs in Eden is a daughter's loyal tribute, drawing on a memoir her mother began and on her own memories of conversations they had.
-Guardian

Synopsis

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.

 

About Joanna Hodgkin

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Joanna Hodgkin is the author of 11 novels.
 
Published February 9, 2012 by Virago. 347 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Amateurs in Eden
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Blake Morrison on Feb 10 2012

Amateurs in Eden is a daughter's loyal tribute, drawing on a memoir her mother began and on her own memories of conversations they had.

Read Full Review of Amateurs in Eden: The Story o... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Olivia Laing on Feb 04 2012

It's a cracking story, and Hodgkin, who writes historical and detective fiction as Joanna Hines, is a meticulous researcher.

Read Full Review of Amateurs in Eden: The Story o... | See more reviews from Guardian

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