Murdoch’s Sexuality: Ample, Baroque

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Living on PaperLiving on Paper: Letters from Iris Murdoch, 1934-1995
Edited by Avril Horner and Anne Rowe
Princeton University Press
680 pages, $39.95

 

 

IRIS MURDOCH has been hailed as one of the 20th century’s greatest writers, and this collection of her letters demonstrates that this is not hyperbole. The editors have done readers a great service by bringing together a revealing collection of 760 of Dame Iris’ letters. (She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1987.) Living on Paper opens with Murdoch’s formative years as a schoolgirl in Ireland and closes with her last coherent letters before dementia set in and forced her into a nursing home in Oxfordshire, where she died in 1999. (Full disclosure: I had brief contact with one of the editors when researching my biography of Romaine Brooks.)

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