Thursday, April 23, 2009


Am honestly wondering why I write so many stories where brothers fight each other. I think I must've been affected by Raul Julia's King Lear in some ways. Saw it back in the day. Cause I have no brothers. I'm sure my own issues affect my writing but why ALWAYS the warring brothers, one of whom is of questionable birth?

Saw "Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont" yesterday. Again. Needed to. It's a great little flick. There is such a kindness to the characters that sitting in their presence is kinda healing. Weird, uh? But that's how I feel. A movie or a book creates a kind of world or presence and if one likes that world or the people in that world, it just heals the soul. But realized yet again that I really like movies with very kind people in it. (Heck, I think most of my characters have a very bad case of kindness...almost a weird flaw.) The book was written by Elizabeth Taylor, a British librarian/writer. The young character is very very kind. And that's perhaps my big problem with the film. (I'm gonna treat myself to the book when I get the marvel money because the story was so entrancing.) But the screenwriter makes a decision -- I think it was the screenwriter-- and focuses mostly on Mrs Palfrey, not much on the young kid. So one really only gets glimpses of his life...and one wonders why he (25 year old) would spend so much time with an old woman. I wish they had shown his loneliness more, his need for a mother, etc.

The weird thing is that I researched it on the internet and it seems the movie is sweeter than the book. The book has a grimness and a mental acuity about it and shows that perhaps the boy was doing it out of generosity and charity and loneliness. Either way I think I'll like the book as well. Because I like emotional complexities in books. (Lord knows what movie folks will do to my books when they make them into movies. As long as they don't make Satha in Wind Follower light-skinned, I'll be cool.)

She's written other books like Angel, and In a Summer Season. So I'm glad I've discovered her. Supposedly her writing and ability to talk about the human soul is wonderful. So will definitely treat myself.

U2's Bono's article in the NY Times: Do you know where your soul is? Great article (You gotta sign in to read it)

Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont
by Elizabeth Taylor

'A wonderful novelist' JILLY COOPER 'How skilfully and with what peculiar exhilaration she negotiated the minefield of the human heart' JONATHAN KEATES 'The unsung heroine of British twentieth-century fiction' REBECCA ABRAMS, NEW STATESMAN 'A funny and honest examination of the casual cruelty we can sometimes inflict upon each other' DAILY MAIL 'I envy those readers who are coming to her work for the first time. Theirs will be an unexpected pleasure, and they will - if they read her as she wanted to be read - learn much that will surprise them' PAUL BAILEY

Product Description
On a rainy Sunday in January, the recently widowed Mrs Palfrey arrives at the Claremont Hotel where she will spend her remaining days. Her fellow residents are magnificently eccentric and endlessly curious, living off crumbs of affection and snippets of gossip. Together, upper lips stiffened, they fight off their twin enemies: boredom and the Grim Reaper.
Then one day Mrs Palfrey strikes up an unexpected friendship with Ludo, a handsome young writer, and learns that even the old can fall in love...

About the Author
Elizabeth Taylor (1912-1975) was born and educated in Reading. After leaving school she worked as a governess and later in a library. She lived much of her married life in the village of Penn in Buckinghamshire.
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