A beautifully written and deeply personal book on the jigsaw and the part it plays in the patchwork of its distinguished author’s life. A mix of memoir, jigsaw history and the strange delights of puzzling
In The Pattern in the Carpet the award-winning and beloved writer Margaret Drabble explores her own family story alongside the history of her favourite childhood pastime – the jigsaw. The result is an original and moving personal history about remembrance, growing older, the importance of play and the ways in which we make sense of our past by ornamenting our present.
“Engrossing … Blends family history and reflection with social and cultural history to reveal the novelist’s passion for jigsaws … Moving and candid … Fascinating”
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“A mature overview of a lifetime spent fitting objects together in various ways before breaking them up and beginning all over again”
“Touchingly human and often wise … a book with such enthusiasm for its subject matter that it makes you long to embark on your own jigsaw”
“Throws poignant light on the difficult jigsaw of human life – and on how to shed harmful thought patterns and reassemble them into something less destructive”
“Part memoir, part rigorously researched historical perspective, Drabble’s book is a multi-layered look at jigsaw puzzles and their role through the ages for society, individuals and herself; it’s also a charming homage to Drabble’s beloved Auntie Phyl, who passed her lifelong love of jigsaws on to Drabble”
Dame Margaret Drabble was born in Sheffield in 1939 and was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge. She is the author of eighteen novels including A Summer Bird-Cage, The Millstone, The Peppered Moth, The Red Queen, The Sea Lady and most recently, the highly acclaimed The Pure Gold Baby. She has also written biographies, screenplays and was the editor of the Oxford Companion to English Literature. She was appointed CBE in 1980, and made DBE in the 2008 Honours list. She was also awarded the 2011 Golden PEN Award for a Lifetime’s Distinguished Service to Literature. She is married to the biographer Michael Holroyd.