Jenny Diski: Apology for the Woman Writing

Jenny Diski’s novel Apology for the Woman Writing is based on the true story of Marie de Gournay, the passionate and complex young woman who was only 18 when she was so overwhelmed by the work of Michel de Montaigne that she had an ecstatic fit and had to be revived with hellebore. As Montaigne’s disciple and editor of his works she earned a reputation both as a lady of letters and as a literary laughing-stock. No straightforward apologist, Diski came to the London Review Bookshop to give a reading from the novel, followed by a discussion of female ambition, literary talent and the nature of the historical novel.