*The Pattern in the Carpet: A Personal History with Jigsaws*

Many writers (including W.H. Auden, Georges Perec, Julian Mitchell, Julian Barnes, Ronald Harwood and Jonathan Raban) have been addicted to crossword puzzles, but I have never taken to them either.  The hours of freedom from words are a relief to me, though of course I acknowledge that, paradoxically, I then seem to feel the need of words to try to analyse the nature of this freedom.

That's because writing is an illness. A chronic, incurable illness.  I caught it by default when I was twenty-one, and I often wish I hadn't.  It seemed to start off as therapy, but it became the illness that it set out to cure.

That is from the new Margaret Drabble book, which indeed is about her obsession with jigsaw puzzles.  While I do not myself have an interest in jigsaw puzzles, or crosswords, I am nonetheless finding the book very interesting.  It will baffle many of her traditional fans but that's probably for the better.


Comments for this post are closed