Bought 18 May 2008 – Cinema Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye

Smith is the novelist and poet, author of Novel On Yellow Paper and Not Waving, But Drowning. Spalding does her very best with extremely unpromising material – Smith lived all her life with her Aunt, in Palmers Green, had a boring office job and about one and a half love affairs. She used her friends in her work, often quite spitefully, and seemed to destroy a lot of her own records. For all that, Spalding manages to weave a reasonably interesting picture, with a lot of use of other people’s archives and comments. The index isn’t very good, unfortunately – a reference to Iris Murdoch led me to the author’s comment about Smith being philosophical like IM, which I don’t think merited an index entry!