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Jenny Diski: 1947-2016

Haley Mlotek | Longreads | April 28, 2016 | words

Jenny Diski died this morning at the age of 68. Here are nine stories celebrating Diski and her work.

Posted inFeatured, Nonfiction, Reading List

Jenny Diski: 1947-2016

Jenny Diski died this morning at the age of 68. Here are nine stories celebrating Diski and her work.
Photo: Suki Dhanda

Jenny Diski wrote 11 novels and seven non-fiction books. She wrote 150 articles and 65 blog posts for the London Review of Books. She wrote about drugs, sex, and rock-n-roll; she also wrote about animals and train travel. She wrote historical fiction and memoir, and essays about literature and fashion. She wrote about her family, her loves, and in the last two years since her cancer diagnosis, she wrote about the life she lived. She wrote herself until the very end.

Jenny Diski died in April 2016 at the age of 68. Here are nine stories celebrating Diski and her work.

1. Jenny Diski’s End Notes (Giles Harvey, New York Times Magazine, June 2015)

Last July, when the English writer Jenny Diski was told she had inoperable lung cancer and, at best, another three years to live, she responded to the news characteristically — that is, in wry poor taste. “So,” she said, turning to her husband, the poet and academic Ian Patterson, “we’d better get cooking the meth.” The Poet — as Diski always refers to Patterson, with tender-ironic reserve, in her personal essays — was just about able to keep up his end of the morbid repartee that is the currency of their marriage: “This time we quit while the going’s good.” The oncologist and the nurse, apparently not watchers of “Breaking Bad,” looked on blankly.

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