A Life Discarded: 148 Diaries Found in a Skip

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9780008130770: A Life Discarded: 148 Diaries Found in a Skip
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Unique, transgressive and as funny as its subject, A Life Discarded has all the suspense of a murder mystery. Written with his characteristic warmth, respect and humour, Masters asks you to join him in celebrating an unknown and important life left on the scrap heap. A Life Discarded is a biographical detective story. In 2001, 148 tattered and mould-covered notebooks were discovered lying among broken bricks in a skip on a building site in Cambridge. Tens of thousands of pages were filled to the edges with urgent handwriting. They were a small part of an intimate, anonymous diary, starting in 1952 and ending half a century later, a few weeks before the books were thrown out. Over five years, the award-winning biographer Alexander Masters uncovers the identity and real history of their author, with an astounding final revelation. A Life Discarded is a true, shocking, poignant, often hilarious story of an ordinary life. The author of the diaries, known only as `I', is the tragicomic patron saint of everyone who feels their life should have been more successful. Part thrilling detective story, part love story, part social history, A Life Discarded is also an account of two writers' obsessions: of `I's need to record every second of life and of Masters' pursuit of this mysterious yet universal diarist.

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About the Author:

Alexander Masters is an author and homeless worker. He is the author of Stuart: A Life Backwards and The Genius in My Basement. Stuart: a Life Backwards, was a Sunday Times bestseller and the winner of the Guardian First Book Award and Whitbread Book of the Year 2005 in the Biography category. He recently adapted Stuart: a Life Backwards for a BBC film. Alexander Masters lives in London.

Review:

`A bizarre, engrossing, affectionate book that is a triumph on every level.' The Times `Profoundly moving.' Daily Mail `If Masters investigations feel like a Paul Auster detective story, there are also traces of Alan Bennet bad Barbary Pym seeping through the Cambridge hedges ... It's not life affirming - Masters isn't slick or pompous enough for that - but life-probing, pushing at the boundaries of empathy and understanding.' The Sunday Times `Masters is a beautiful writer: funny, inquisitive and attentive.' Observer `Intriguingly original ... A ripping yarn from start to finish and as impressively chaotic and hugely enjoyable a dip into a skip as one could ever hope for.' Express `Playful, unsettling and altogether compelling ... pin-sharp and generously open to eccentricity ... He has produced an ingenious new twist on the concept of a ghostwritten biography, in which the ghost turns out to be the kind of person who usually disappears between the cracks of society without leaving a trace behind. In A Life Discarded she is brilliantly fleshed out and brought back to life.' The Spectator `Masters has written a book that engenders in the reader the inexhaustible sympathy for the sorrow, and the solace, of the unconventional life.' Telegraph `Masters wonderfully exposes all the questions about identity, in writing or in the flesh, that this enormous, rambling, sad diary raises ... Masters tells his tale with such verve ` Mary Beard, Guardian `Masters' interest is firmly in obscure and unseen lives. That's not all that sets his books apart: they have a postmodern playfulness, the writing process described in the narrative and their subjects reading and commenting (not always favourably) on the work-in-progress, while doodles, photos and knowing, Tristram Shandy-style jokes dot the text ... A fascinating and surprisingly funny book' FT `Fascinating and funny' FT `Charming, mercurial and joyous ...[a] masterclass in narrative investigation' Sunday Times, Books of the Year

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Unique, transgressive and as funny as its subject, A Life Discarded has all the suspense of a murder mystery. Written with his characteristic warmth, respect and humour, Masters asks you to join him in celebrating an unknown and important life left on the scrap heap. A Life Discarded is a biographical detective story. In 2001, 148 tattered and mould-covered notebooks were discovered lying among broken bricks in a skip on a building site in Cambridge. Tens of thousands of pages were filled to the edges with urgent handwriting. They were a small part of an intimate, anonymous diary, starting in 1952 and ending half a century later, a few weeks before the books were thrown out. Over five years, the award-winning biographer Alexander Masters uncovers the identity and real history of their author, with an astounding final revelation. A Life Discarded is a true, shocking, poignant, often hilarious story of an ordinary life. The author of the diaries, known only as `I , is the tragicomic patron saint of everyone who feels their life should have been more successful. Part thrilling detective story, part love story, part social history, A Life Discarded is also an account of two writers obsessions: of `I s need to record every second of life and of Masters pursuit of this mysterious yet universal diarist. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780008130770

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Unique, transgressive and as funny as its subject, A Life Discarded has all the suspense of a murder mystery. Written with his characteristic warmth, respect and humour, Masters asks you to join him in celebrating an unknown and important life left on the scrap heap. A Life Discarded is a biographical detective story. In 2001, 148 tattered and mould-covered notebooks were discovered lying among broken bricks in a skip on a building site in Cambridge. Tens of thousands of pages were filled to the edges with urgent handwriting. They were a small part of an intimate, anonymous diary, starting in 1952 and ending half a century later, a few weeks before the books were thrown out. Over five years, the award-winning biographer Alexander Masters uncovers the identity and real history of their author, with an astounding final revelation. A Life Discarded is a true, shocking, poignant, often hilarious story of an ordinary life. The author of the diaries, known only as `I , is the tragicomic patron saint of everyone who feels their life should have been more successful. Part thrilling detective story, part love story, part social history, A Life Discarded is also an account of two writers obsessions: of `I s need to record every second of life and of Masters pursuit of this mysterious yet universal diarist. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780008130770

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