On Trying to Keep Still, Paperback

On Trying to Keep Still Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Jenny Diski's attempt to keep still and mentally idle resulted in a year in which she travelled to New Zealand, spent two months almost alone in a cottage in the country and visited the Sami people of Lapland.

Diski, fails to keep still and, like the philosopher Montaigne, keeps a record of her ramblings both mental and physical hoping as he did in time to make her mind ashamed of itself. Interspersed with ill-tempered descriptions of these trips are digressions on the subject of her sore foot; her childhood desire for 'a condition', thoughts about growing older, spiders, fundamentalism and the problems of keeping warm.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Travel writing
  • ISBN: 9781844080168



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This book's a tough one to categorize - "travel" seems the most comprehensive for me as it's three parts are set in New Zealand, the U. K. (away from Diski's home itself) and Sweden; however, there's plenty of memoir and philosophy-of-life musing, too. The further I got into the Arctic section, the faster I skimmed towards the book's conclusion - then again, Diski admits upfront that she had second thoughts about the trip after it was too late to cancel; the (fixed) pre-arranged itenerary didn't turn out to be what she had in mind, so she did the best she could.

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