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Divided Lives: Dreams of a Mother and a Daughter Hardcover – 19 Jun 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (19 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844088898
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844088898
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.1 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,280,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Lyndall Gordon manages to avoid being undaughterly about her exciting, difficult, self-obsessed mother . . . as racy as a novel (Guardian)

A biographer with soul, she reaches into the hearts of those she brings alive for us. She makes the meaning of their lives sing and sweat as she invites us into their experiences, their longings, their struggles and their disappointments . . . [a] fascinating mix between memoir and biography (Observer)

[A] beautifully written and troubling memoir (Independent on Sunday)

[A] sensitive exploration of the complexities of motherhood and daughterhood (Sunday Times)

This quietly devastating book takes us into many strange terrains but it is to the 'inner life of that room' in Cape Town that Gordon finds herself returning. It was there she fountained into one of our most sensitive writers (Mail on Sunday)

In Divided Lives, [Gordon] devotes to her mother the kind of care and attention she has previously devoted to the Modernists, and - goodness knows! - her mother, Rhoda, certainly deserves it (Literary Review)

Lyndall Gordon's intrepid and astute biographies of writers . . . frequently yield insights that have eluded previous scholars . . . Now Gordon brings her gift for uncovering startling truths to bear on her own upbringing in 1950s and 60s South Africa (Times Literary Supplement)

Memoir of the year? Divided Lives, Lyndall Gordon's enthralling and painful account of her relationship with her mother (Elizabeth Lowry Times Literary Supplement)

A wonderful read that's both frank and delicate (Sunday Herald)

Book Description

Lyndall Gordon, the renowned and award-winning biographer of Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Charlotte Bronte and Mary Wollstonecraft among others, now turns to her own story with Divided Lives: Dreams of a Mother and Daughter.

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4 customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

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9 May 2015
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Most helpful customer reviews on 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
5.0 out of 5 starsEntwined, twinned lives
19 November 2014 - Published on
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
2 people found this helpful.
Robert L. Neill
5.0 out of 5 starsOur best literary biographer?
6 May 2015 - Published on
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One person found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsMulti-layered and touching exploration.
8 August 2015 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
2 people found this helpful.
margaret harrington
5.0 out of 5 starsLife Writing at its BEST - Excellent Book
22 September 2014 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
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