Synopses & Reviews
- Her first new book in over 10 years. Bedford is back with what will surely (she says) be her last, and the moving culmination of a story that began in 1956 (when Legacy pubbed in the UK).
- Acclaim, acclaim, and acclaim. Sybille Bedford is, simply put, one of the finest writers of her generation. None other than notoriously hard-to-satisfy Bruce Chatwin asserted that "when the history of modern prose in English comes to be written, Mrs. Bedford will have to appear in any list of its most dazzling practitioners."
- Comparisons. While not yet as big a name in the U.S. as her talent would suggest, Bedford ranks with the elder states(wo)men of contemporary literature. Think of her in the same breath as Shirley Hazzard, Penelope Fitzgerald, Joan Didion, Anita Brookner, and Cynthia Ozick.
- Another chance to rediscover a long-lost great. The past few years the literary world has witnessed a number of spectacular career rebirths. Paula Fox, e.g., emerged after a long silence with the NBCC finalist Borrowed Finery and stacks of rave reviews. In some cases, this reassessment has even worked posthumously--as seen in the attention lavished on Rebecca West's Survivors in Mexico. Expect Bedford's Quicksands to be the next to get this royal treatment.
- The Counterpoint reissues. This book, very likely to be Bedford's last (she's 92), will also form the culmination of the Counterpoint reissues of the Bedford backlist. Look forward to the same crisp, classic packaging for this latest outing.
"This passionate memoir reflects a sharp, incisive interiority and is written in a style that's even more lyrical and engaging than the style that propelled Bedford into the literary world with her first book, Sudden View, in 1953. Mentored by Aldous Huxley (she later wrote his definitive biography), raised in a Europe struggling to retain and later regain its soul, Bedford (b. 1911) crossed paths with many compelling characters in the years during, between and after the world wars, including a few close to Hitler and to the Fascists. Her detailed autobiography is also a memoir of the evolution of an author, and Bedford writes as movingly of 9/11 as she does of the occupation and liberation of Europe. Bedford counters the perils of political darkness with the first flushes of romantic passions, and, throughout, describes the landscape of her world: her youth in the countrysides of Europe, and her adulthood in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Florence and New York. Her eye and ear for the ever-changing and challenging world in which she has lived moves her seamlessly from one era to the next. It's heady stuff, no less so for Bedford's ruminative style, her introspection and insight. Agent, Kim Witherspoon. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
When the history of modern prose in English comes to be written, Mrs. Bedford will have to appear in any list of its most dazzling practitioners.-Bruce Chatwin, Vogue
About the Author
Sybille Bedford was born in 1911, in Charlottenburg, Germany, and was brought up in Italy, England, and France. in 1953, she made her literary debut with A Visit to Don Otavio, and has since published eight other books - including Jigsaw, A Legacy, A Favourite of the Gods, and A Compass Error, as well as classic accounts of criminal trials and other courtroom cases, and an acclaimed biography of her mentor Aldous Huxley. She was vice president of English PEN and one of Britain's nine Companions of Literature. Ms. Bedford lived in London where she passed away in February 2006.