In Gratitude

Jenny Diski


In Gratitude

In Gratitude

  • Title: In Gratitude
  • Author: Jenny Diski
  • ISBN: 9781632866868
  • Page: 488
  • Format: Hardcover



The future flashed before my eyes in all its pre ordained banality Embarrassment, at first, to the exclusion of all other feelings But embarrassment curled at the edges with a wearinessI got a joke in So we d better get cooking the meth, I said to the Poet.In July 2014, Jenny Diski was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and given two or three years to live SThe future flashed before my eyes in all its pre ordained banality Embarrassment, at first, to the exclusion of all other feelings But embarrassment curled at the edges with a wearinessI got a joke in So we d better get cooking the meth, I said to the Poet.In July 2014, Jenny Diski was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and given two or three years to live She didn t know how to react All responses felt scripted, as if she were acting out her part To find the response that felt wholly her own, she had to face the cliches and try to write about it And there was another story to write, one she had not yet told that of being taken in at age fifteen by the author Doris Lessing, and the subsequent fifty years of their complex relationship.In the pages of the London Review of Books, to which Diski contributed for the last quarter century, she unraveled her history with Lessing the fairy tale rescue as a teenager, the difficulties of being absorbed into an unfamiliar family, the modeling of a literary life Swooping from one memory to the next alighting on the hysterical battlefield of her parental home, her expulsion from school, the drug taking twenty something in and out of psychiatric hospitals and telling all through the lens of living with terminal cancer, through what she knows will be her final months, Diski paints a portrait of two extraordinary writers Lessing and herself.From a wholly original thinker comes a book like no other a cerebral, witty, dazzlingly candid masterpiece about an uneasy relationship about memory and writing, ingratitude and anger about living with illness and facing death.


Recent Comments "In Gratitude"

In gratitude to Jenny Diski."Where am I going? Nobody knows. Can I come with you? Aye, bye and bye. There is a kind of excitement. This, that I've never done, already done, but previously, in a different form, an absolute otherness, nothingness, knowingnessless. That everyone has done, will do, world without end. The ending, and the world going on, going about its daily business. A world without me. To have known but not have any apparatus to know with. The excitement of a newness that is as old [...]

Jenny Diski was a writer who lived a painfully wild life in the 60s, replete with drugs and mental illness. In the teens, she was "rescued" by author Doris Lessing, who, sight unseen, welcomed her into her home. But the "rescue" brought its own complicationsIn Gratitude includes the fascinating details of Diski's relationship with Doris Lessing (and author I admire greatly and who, in some ways, shaped my life in the 1970s). This story is alternated with Diski's recounting of her life with cance [...]

I rarely consider a book five-star-worthy, but Jenny Diski's latest (and last) book deserves all five. It took me over a hundred pages to get hooked, but once I did, I couldn't stop. Diski writes honestly about hard subjects--depression, mental illness, childhood abandonment, her fraught relationship with Doris Lessing, and her own imminent demise--but with a sharp wit and in an almost conversational style. Her contemplation of death I found especially moving; she poses the unanswerable question [...]

In this incredibly intimate memoir the late British author Jenny Diski (1947-2016) diagnosed with lung cancer and complications from pulmonary fibrosis, recalled the dark complexities of end of life stages with a fierce determination to preserve her dignity. In addition, Diski wrote about unstable chaotic upbringing, and her life in connection with mentor British literary icon Doris Lessing (1919-2013).In the opening of the book Diski wrote disapprovingly of cancer clichés, bucket lists and her [...]

I appreciated (liked isn't quite the right word) the previous Diski books I'd read, so decided to try this one, her final work. First third, a memoir of her childhood didn't interest me much. Second part, set in present day focusing on her medical issues, and her feelings about that, were the Diski I was reading it for. Final section was a mix of that and memoir, so a mixed bag. Overall, my feelings mirrored those of Eat, Pray, Love (boring, interesting, a bit of both).In terms of her childhood [...]

I think I'm in love with Jenny Diski. This book is fascinating, disjointed, admirable. It's a sad book to read in the wake of her death last week, but I have so much respect for how she processes and writes about her experiences with cancer and Doris Lessing.

An important book in my life, but withholding comments for now because I want to write about it and other things.

Diski grapples with her cancer and with her formative years living with Doris Lessing, her "benefactor." Three of Lessing's books have characters inspired by Diski, most notably Memoirs of a Survivor (which is one of my least favorite by Lessing), but also the excellent Briefing for a Descent into Hell, and The Sweetest Dream. People, including Lessing, often perceived Diski to be ungrateful for the chance to live with the famed writer, hence the title. In addition to learning about Lessing in h [...]

Een madam naar mijn hart, moet ik zeggen. Ik had nog nooit van haar gehoord maar kreeg dit boek kado en ik ben er zeer blij om. Dit is een potloodboek! Jenny D. Is een schrijfster, een welbekende schrijfster die te horen krijgt dat ze longkanker heeft. Haar reactie is super. Het hele boek is als het ware wie zij is, met terugblikken op haar leven, haar jeugd, haar moeder, Doris Lessing (bij wie ze mocht intrekken) haar manier van denken, haar manier van zijn en dit alles met rake zinnen, gedacht [...]

Bravo Jenny Diski. As far as deathbed memoirs go, this will be one to top. I don't think she would have minded me saying so. Her writing is exquisite and always fresh and indeed writing is one of the main themes of this extraordinary memoir. As a former Doris Lessing obsessive, the portrait of her here was so compelling and vivid I could almost smell the house the two of them knocked about in, sometimes joined by Doris' son Peter, the most tragic figure of them all. But the person I enjoyed read [...]

I just recently discovered Diski. She's a fabulous, honest writer. This book describes her time living with Doris Lessing and also goes into detail about Diski's deteriorating health. She addresses headon the various indignities and awful ordinariness of her life as a cancer patient. What its like to receive radiation, etc. She's honest, tough, unsentimental. Want to read everything this woman has written.

I loved the part of the book that told the story of Jenny's time with Doris Lessing, not so much the part that dealt with her cancer and fibrosis. I don't know why that is -- maybe because it was too scary/too close to home? It's not too close to home -- nobody has cancer at our household -- but I've been thinking about death lately and, like Jenny, I refuse to believe in any kind of afterlife. But if this is the case (and I have no doubt that it is), the question of death, of the inevitable not [...]

Non è una recensione.Non ne sarei in grado. È un libro talmente bello, intenso e di straordinaria qualità che qualunque commento o tentativo di descrizione mi parrebbe inopportuno.Credo sia uno dei libri migliori non solo di questo 2017 ma anche degli ultimi anni.Non è la Didion, non è la Ernaux, è entrambe e nessuna delle due ma con una marcia in più: un scrittura che a mio dire trascende entrambe.Una cura stilistica (non voluta né ricercata) che nella sua urgenza e assoluta sincerità [...]

Läs min recension på bloggen: fiktiviteter/2017/09/04

Honestly never heard of Diski before reading her essays from The Guardian in a NYT Book Review section in 2014 about her cancer diagnosis. Along with Oliver Sachs and a few others who published essays about their eventual demise from cancer in NYT, I found her essays frank, fresh and reflective without being solipsistic or obtuse. I wondered why I had never heard of Diski before this or why more of her work had not crossed the Atlantic from the UK. Picking up the NYT Book Review last Sunday was [...]

This book is cleverly named In Gratitude, but it's theme is really ingratitude. Read other Goodread reviews which were glowing, but I found the memoir to be depressing and annoying, even though I liked her feisty spirit. First section is about her unfortunate relationship with Doris Lessing although she seemed to have learned a lot from Doris in terms of Lessing's dispassionate and analytical writing style. Second portion is about dealing with cancer which I ultimately skipped over after reading [...]

I'll preface this by saying I won this book in a giveaway but this review is entirely my own. When I discovered this book I had never heard of Jenny Diski nor have I ever read any of her other works. What I found is that her writing is incredibly pleasing to me. It is so truthful and she doesn't work to please others with the comprehension of her life - currently and in the past. Although she almost dubs this a "cancer memoir" I feel that this is more of a diary, a mash of thoughts she felt nee [...]

Marvelous. Highly recommended.

"A year's treatment gives me between one and two years. And still I only feel deprived of not watching the grandchildren, two of them now, become their own people. For now, they remain delightful, a special medicine whose main side-effects is a painful sadness, of time. For the rest, apart from occasional terror of extinction, it seems reasonable enough, if the contented coma I've been promised actually happens. The terror is not, of course, occasional and contentment doesn't come into it. Where [...]

. I have admired Jenny Diski’s essays for years. This memoir includes excerpts from the cancer journal she began publishing in the London Review of Books after her diagnosis. The first and last sections of In Gratitude cover Diski’s youth and the years she spent as a ward of Doris Lessing, a situation that had a powerful psychological effect on an already damaged teenager. The center section detailing her experiences with treatment for terminal lung cancer and meditations on loss of existenc [...]

Fascinating story -- not the book you would expect from the title.Two intertwined parts: record of Diski's experience (she hates the use of the word battle) with lung cancer/ memoir of her years as the ward of Doris Lessing. (Lessing does not come across as a particularly nice person -- not much of a surprise there!)This book is both amazingly honest and surprisingly opaque. Diski's plain language is twisted into syntax so counterintuitive that meaning seems to fall away. This makes total sense [...]

Such a powerfully written memoir of life lived in open rebelion against so many significant people and forces in her life. A wild thing, she was called. One of my favorite passages: "Well here I am at last. Comfy, with friends, not alone. Only I didn’t know anyone’s name, or who they were. But perhaps that didn’t matter either. That was when Doris crossed me off her Christmas list. Or thereabouts. Wild, dangerous, a woman with an active uterus that might do anything, and drugs as well. Hop [...]

This memoir's essays contain bold, raw, provocative and unsentimentalportrayals of the author's past and her present preoccupation with cancer.The book deals with the formative years she spent living with Doris Lessingfrom age 15 to 19 and encouraged her wish to become a writer. Diski's bookwas published on April 21, 2016 and she died on April 28. This is much morethan a cancer diary and is an excellent piece of work.

How do you thank her? This book is about a writer's life, about cancer and death, and about the life of an artist. It is funny, sad, absurd, disturbing and profound. I will miss this book and the person who wrote it.

"Ho il cancro. Ne scriverò? Come potrei farne a meno? Per un attimo ho finto di poterlo evitare, ma sapevo di doverlo fare, perché scrivere è ciò che faccio e ormai anche il cancro è ciò che faccio. E poi lo sconforto. Un cazzo di diario del cancro? Un altro?"Ancora una volta mi trovo costretta a dichiarare la mia ignoranza (tantissimi libri validi da leggere e così poco tempo per farlo!) e ammetto con voi lettori di aver scoperto l'esistenza di Jenny Diski solamente con l'uscita di quest [...]

Reading your way through the NYT list of best books for 2016 means that no matter what, you will spend your time in the company of someone who knows how to write, and how to write well. Once again I was not let down. But, major portions of this series of musings did not work for me. First, this is a compilation of thoughts without a clear beginning or end, other than her thoughts about highly selected segments of her life. And since I have not followed Ms. Diski's life, or read her other publica [...]

Jenny Diski died in April 2016 of lung cancer and pulmonary fibrosis. She was a fabulous writer. This volume is a version of the last essays she wrote for the London Review of Books, between her diagnosis in Sep 2014 & towards the end. It is in parts a meditation / diary on the process of dying and cancer treatments. And the bulk of it is the untold story of her relationship with Nobel Prize winning author Doris Lessing, who took Diski (or Jenny Simmons as she was then) in as a 15 year old f [...]

A potent read as Jenni Diski died of cancer recently and this was a memoir. I found it fascinating because Diski had such a disparate life. The most interesting part for me was her "adoption" by writer, Doris Lessing. They seem to have had a very odd relationship. Certanly not warm or close. There's a lot of resentfment, even bitterness, between them. Lessing is cool, concerned with her writing and literary friends. Diski wants to be a writer too but finds it difficult to be grateful for what sh [...]

I've had this book for seven months and the reason why I've been avoiding it for so long is, I knew it won't be easy. Parts of the text were published as separate essays in the London Review of Books, where I've read them already, but here, in one single volume, they hit hard. You keep reading as she tries to make sense of surviving and living, as she unravels, as her cancer progresses. She talks about her abusive parents, her being taken as a teenager in the house of Doris Lessing, living toget [...]

Un memoir che racchiude due vite: la vita di Jenny Diski, l’autrice del libro e quella del premio Nobel Doris Lessing che l’accolse in casa ancora adolescente. Nessun velo, nessuna lotta stoica contro un cancro appena diagnosticato, solo ricordi e considerazioni di una donna che guarda alla propria vita e a quella delle persone che le sono state accanto con grande lucidità e acume. La maggior parte della gente passa il proprio tempo a cercare di vivere essendo apprezzata dai più, a costo d [...]


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    Published :2018-09-15T20:51:29+00:00