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Any Human Heart

by William Boyd

Diary of a fictional character that you almost believe existed by the end of the novel. Covers the whole period of the 20thC, includes many real people - Hemingway, Woolf, Picasso and many real events - Spanish Civil War and the Blitz. A darkly comic novel, but with touches of real emotion. I raced through it, despite its length.

Extract

I was placed between Lady Enid and Angus's sister, Lady Laeticia ("Lottie, please")... she was chatty and vivacious, and couldn't hear enough about Paris. "Did you go to a bal negre? Did you meet any lesbians? Are the women too, too beautiful". Lady Enid, by contrast, interrogated me like an immigration official. Where were you born? Montevideo. Where's that? Uruguay. Still blank. South America. Oh? Where is your mother from? Montevideo. I could hear her brain working. She's Uruguayan I said. How wonderfully exotic for you she said, and turned to the person on her right.

Parallels

Diary of An Ordinary Woman by Margaret Forster
 

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