There was also a kind of stuck in her writing itself, a condition not entirely attributable after so many years to having had so little time for it. Her one interest was memoir, the story of her own life—her formation as the daughter of small town fundamentalists, her intellectual awakening as a student, her first marriage to a soldier—but she had now been working on the thing for almost twenty years, writing and rewriting, casting and recasting, dozens of sketches snipped from life, evocative, she thought, each compelling in its own way, but despite her best efforts never finally adding up to anything more than a laundry basket of disparate scenes, affective color, and social rumination.

The Italian Novel

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