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'Wide Sargasso Sea' is rightly considered by many to be one of the greatest pieces of writing of this or any time, so I naturally approach reviewing it with some trepidation. But it has to be in The Empathy Library, so here goes ...
Best-known for his electrifying first novel Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates then went on to write the same story, just as beautifully, several times over- sometimes making it longer (Young Hearts Crying) shorter (Cold Spring Harbour) or with two female protagonists (Easter Parade).
‘Broken nose. Loose teeth. Cracked ribs. Broken finger. Black eyes.
Life doesn’t work out as you planned. This is the central, completely non-judgmental message of Rosamond Lehmann’s tender narrative of an extramarital affair in shabby 30s London.
Volume II of Knausgaard's six-volume My Struggle project finds the author newly divorced and caught in the throes of new love. Remarriage and, eventually, fatherhood ensue, and with them come moments of ecstasy.