What happens when you try to find not only meaning but pattern and form in seventy years of a life? It's not a simple process of chronological remembering. It entails a Remake, to capture not facts but the contents of those facts, the feelings of a war-time child, the textures of her clothing, the tastes and smells, the tones and the touch of her mother, the felt absence of her father, and the gradual transformation into womanhood. The facts are simple: birth in Geneva; bilingual childhood in Brussels, then London and Liverpool; work in Intelligence at the Bletchley Park decoding centre during the war; marriage; Oxford; London; literary journalism; the emergence of the novelist. But what do facts add up to? Remake is an autobiographical novel with a difference. It uses life material to compose a third-person fiction, transformed in an experiment whose tensions are those of memory - distorting and partial - checked by a rigorous and sceptical language which probes and finds form underlying the wayward impulses and passions of the subject. Remake is a fascinating and original book by one of our finest modern novelists.
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Used availability for Christine Brooke-Rose's Remake
February 1996 : UK Paperback