Saturday, August 16, 2003

A Bothersome Book

I recently began to read a book entitled Clairvoyant: The
Imagined Life of Lucia Joyce. Written by Alison Leslie Gold,
it purports to be a “tribute to Lucia’s ability to survive in
the face of a most mysterious and terrible illness” and also
claims it is based on “factual details of the Joyce family...”.

Okay. I can understand that. The author has to imagine
Lucia’s emotions and thoughts during her 47 years in
asylums. Sure. So I open the book and on the first page I
come to this line:

“Her wavy gingerbread-and-gray hair looked as though
it had been recently permed.”

That sentence gave me pause, but I continued to read.
Upon reaching page 7 . I encountered another such line:
“....her wild, irrepressible ginger colored hair”. I was initially
bewildered. Lucia? A redhead?

I flipped to the afterword where the author summarizes
what were facts and which parts of the book were fiction.
The last line reads “Lucia Joyce did not have red hair”.

I can understand that Gold would have to use her imagin-
ation for portions of the book, but red hair? What the hell!?
I put the book down and I won’t be reading any more of it.

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