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The noted literary critic & novelist recounts his life with, and love for, the renowned author Iris Murdoch, who in the last years of her life suffered from Alzheimer's.
"Magnificently, hauntingly humane." —Michael Pakenham, The Baltimore Sun
"Bayley's restrained and elegant love song to his wife of 42 years . . . is beautiful and heartbreaking. Full of spirit, generous and resilient." —Gail Caldwell, The Boston Globe
"A beautifully rendered portrait . . . Bayley reaffirms how suffering can ennoble the human heart. [Elegy for Iris] is an affecting remembrance of one of the great literary marriages of our time. It celebrates the victory of life—and love." —Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"A heart-melting love story and an erudite inquiry into the nature of personality, memory, and invention. Wise and full of grace." —Shelby Hearon, The Chicago Tribune
"Elegy for Iris is a work of art. As beautiful as it is wise, Elegy for Iris has already become a classic memoir and a remedy for modern love. Read it and, if you dare, give it to someone you love." -Tom D'Evelyn, Providence Sunday Journal
"Here, between the covers of an incredible book, is love . . . that doesn't hedge, love for which there are no ready outs, love that feels as inevitable as breathing, and the result is stunning." —Abraham Verghese,The Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Heartfelt and admirably unsentimental . . . a testament to a love that has endured and transcended the most terrifying ravages of illness and old age." —Francine Prose, Elle
"In Elegy for Iris I find my mother and father, my wife's parents, our friends, and us. I find shared lives, and hurts and forgivenesses, and joys that are greatest because nobody else knows them." —Dan Rather
Posted November 29, 2008
Posted July 21, 2005
This is a lovely book about the wonder of life and a horrible disease yet, for the life of me, I cannot write a definitive description. It is one of those books that you finish reading and realize that you have read about love, youth, adventure, old age, and disease. I loved it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 9, 2002
I read this memoir just before seeing the film, 'Iris.' It prepared me for what I would see and helped me to understand both Iris and her husband and the situation they found themselves in. While reading this book and watching the film, I couldn't help but think that Iris Murdoch had done everything right: she was educated, well read and a prolific writer and yet none of that helped her to avoid the deteriating effect of Alzheimer's. Iris also had the benefit of being her own person (at a time when few women could accomplish this) while enjoying a close and satisfying relationship with her husband. Perhaps all the above held off Iris' deteriation for a time. We'll never know.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.