Friday 20 October 2017

Orphans by Definition

When Eileen Simpson, who has written a remarkable and moving book, went back to visit the convent, which she now realised for the first time was an orphanage, she was told by the gardener that it had been turned into an old people's home. Old people are orphans by definition. Thus those who were spared the experience at the beginning will come to it at the end. She avoids this reflection. She remains a wise and resilient adult in her middle years. The rest may be too difficult to contemplate.
Anita Brookner, review of Orphans: Real and Imaginary
by Eileen Simpson, Observer, April 1988

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