Sybille Bedford: A Life

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The clouds part, and at last the author emerges. After almost two hundred pages of youth and romances, Sybille Bedford’s life as a successful writer entraps the reader. Born into an unhappy marriage in 1911, a here-and-away Jewish father, a morphine addicted mother with an adoring young husband, spells living in Italy and France, and at last, in 1953, an exceptional travel book.

Early on, Bedford recognized her disinterest in men, preferring women, and pages are scattered with multiple loving, frustrating, despairing affairs and friendships. Three of her longest loves had names beginning with the letter ’E,’ and though in some measure different one to the other, one must read attentively. Not sordid, just remarkable, a succession of women who barely come to life, even in several snapshots, only in Bedford’s brilliantly witty, letters. Just one woman lasted the course, an American who disapproved of lesbianism but remained a steadfast pal.

The saga is crammed, especially her social life among such famed writers as Aldous Huxley, in the subject of her two-volume biography. It is fast paced, enthralling, though rearrangement to captivate the delicious flavor, and enjoy the brilliant humor would be helpful, not harmful.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 432 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 02-Feb-2021
ISBN 9781735041728 Buy this Book
Issue April 2021
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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