Elegy For Iris by John Bayley

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"I was living in a fairy story--the kind with sinister overtones and not always a happy ending--in which a young man loves a beautiful maiden who returns his love but is always disappearing into some unknown and mysterious world, about which she will reveal nothing."

So John Bayley describes his life with his wife, Iris Murdoch, one of the greatest contemporary writers in the English-speaking world, revered for her works of philosophy and beloved for her incandescent novels.

In Elegy for Iris, Bayley attempts to uncover the real Iris, whose mysterious world took on darker shades as she descended into Alzheimer's disease. Elegy for Iris is a luminous memoir about the beauty of youth and aging, and a celebration of a brilliant life and an undying love.


About John Bayley

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John Bayley is an eminent literary critic & a retired professor from Oxford University. He remarried in 2000 & still lives in Oxford, England.
Published October 15, 2013 by St. Martin's Press. 289 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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In her time, Murdoch was a woman of unconventional intelligence and independence’she had a long string of lovers, did not want children, had an almost slovenly disregard for her appearance, and was in no hurry to get married, though she never seems to have doubted that Bayley should be the groom.

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Publishers Weekly

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Few people afflicted with an Alzheimer's partner can be as self-effacing and endlessly patient as Bayley, but in a way almost as mysterious as the creation of a Murdoch novel, he evokes depths of understanding and warmth that seem scarcely ruffled by the breezes of the conscious mind.

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In Elegy for Iris, Bayley demonstrates their experience as not necessarily negative, but alternative to most people's experiences of aging.

Feb 28 2016 | Read Full Review of Elegy For Iris

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