An intensely remembered, partly autobiographical novel . . .
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1989, Jigsaw describes the childhood of Billi, a girl growing up in Europe between the wars. When her father dies, she swaps life in a run-down German château for an exhilarating existence with her beautiful, talented and unreliable mother on the French Riviera.
Sent away to England for schooling, the gypsy-like Billi ricochets between short-lived tutors and a life of reading, friends and public lectures. Returning to the Mediterranean, her unorthodox education – academic, emotional and sexual – continues among the vibrant community of artists, exiles and intellectuals who have colonized the coast, coaxing her towards a life of literature.
‘A deliciously evoked return to worlds, and a Europe, now almost vanished; it will ravish connoisseurs of the lost.’ John Fowles
A Bath with a View
I once met Sybille Bedford. ‘Met’ is perhaps the wrong word; I pounced on her at a crowded Time-Life party and began raving about her novel A Legacy which I had just read. She looked at me...Read more
Bruised, Shocked, but Elated
I first met Sybille Bedford in London in the early 1980s when an old friend of mine, Patrick Woodcock, who at the time was Sybille’s doctor, invited us both to dinner. As a keen admirer of...Read more