A Life Discarded

A Life Discarded

148 Diaries Found in the Trash

Book - 2016
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Alexander Masters, the bestselling author of Stuart: A Life Backwards , asks you to join him in celebrating an unknown and important life left on the scrap heap

In 2001, 148 tattered and mold-covered notebooks were discovered lying among broken bricks in a bin on a building site in Cambridge, England. Tens of thousands of pages were filled to the edges with urgent handwriting. They were a small part of an intimate, mysterious diary, starting in 1952 and ending half a century later, a few weeks before the books were thrown out. The anonymous author, known only as "I," is revealed as the tragicomic patron saint of everyone who feels their life should have been more successful. Over five years, the brilliant biographer Alexander Masters uncovers the identity and real history of this secret author, ending with an astounding final revelation.

A biographical detective story that unfolds with the suspense of a mystery--but has all the dazzling originality that made Masters's Stuart: A Life Backwards such a beloved book-- A Life Discarded is a true, poignant, often hilarious story of an ordinary life.

Publisher: London :, Fourth Estate,, 2016, ©2016.
Edition: First American edition.
ISBN: 9780374178185
Branch Call Number: 920. 041 MAS
Characteristics: 258 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Jan 24, 2017

With immense dedication Masters diligently took us inside the life of a diarist after finding discarded notebooks in a dumpster. "Many of the books were rotting along...as if I caught them secretly returning to trees." The diarist was quite an oddity, writing but not reading or even understanding what she wrote. I was caught up with the search for the author and was wonderfully surprised at Masters discovery and what it revealed.

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