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The Folded Clock: A Diary Hardcover – 9 Mar 2017
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Exquisite ... This diary is a diary in the way that Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater is a confession, or that Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year is a journal, or that Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book is a pillow book ... Witty, sly, critical, inventive and adventurous ... A work so artful that it appears to be without artifice. This diary is a record of the interior weather of an adept thinker. In it, the mundane is rendered extraordinary through the alchemy of effortless prose (New York Times)
A work of finely tuned artifice, an unashamed performance of privacy ... By the end you come to realise that this is a work of careful, conscious assembly - a life told in tessellated pieces, fitting perfectly together ... Julavits acts as the expert tour guide to her own anxious, fizzing mind ... Revelatory (Financial Times)
Julavits is a brilliant craftsman ... Intimate, insightful and very entertaining, this is a singular delight ***** (The Lady)
Scathingly funny ... Exhilarating ... An engaging portrait of a woman's sense of identity (Los Angeles Times)
Blurs the lines between contemplation and revelation, fact and fiction ... Julavits takes the novel approach of reinventing the form of the diary ... Reveals a whole lot, in often-flawless prose, about motherhood, time, petty jealousies, grand debates, and the irresistible attractions of The Bachelorette (New York Magazine)
Playful, intimate and deeply insightful ... What you can tell from this book is that Julavits is someone you truly want to know - even better than you already do from reading her diary (Chicago Tribune)
Fascinating ... The humour and the pathos of the book arise from the mismatch between the urgency of a decision in the moment and the awareness that always runs beneath it: that time will eventually make most things not matter (Washington Post)
The Folded Clock is a study in awareness, like an affirmative email from a best friend that stands in solidarity, saying "ugh, I'm lost, too!" . She adds up little reminiscences and thoughts, weaving together a non-linear life. She gets through each day - the tough periods and precious times - and tells the story of a full life (Lenny Letter)
An insightful meditation on time, relationships and identity, The Folded Clock is a funny, thoughtful and inquisitive diary for fans of Olivia Laing and Jenny OffillSee all Product description
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It doesn't matter because that something more—the work that emerges from stitching the fabric of everyday life together—is extraordinary.
I think I read that Heidi Julavits called her self an "explorer of interiors". And this is very much an exploration of her interior life. It could be (and probably has been) accused of navel gazing. But to dismiss it as naval gazing is to miss... not so much the point as the experience.
There are meditations here on time, family, friendship, gossip, thrift stores. And these can be fascinating and entertaining. What will stay with me, though, are the moments of uncertainty and second guessing. These are honestly portrayed. There were times when they were so honest, I felt embarrassed. Of course, the times I felt most embarrassed were the times I recognised myself in these moments or tortuous indecision.