Alice, a Memoir
by Alice Gilmore
Few, if anyone, could have had a life like Alice Gilmore. It was almost unbelievable yet carried on under the cover of a respectable middle-class existence.
You might strongly disapprove of what she did, but Alice was determined. She overcame insurmountable obstacles to keep the love she longed for.
Her single-minded fight to live out her love makes a gripping, riveting story that one eminent literary person called ‘staggeringly readable’. It is shocking. Her methods will upset some, but are you with her or against her? Your decision.
This is no misery memoir. It’s a story told with joy, wit and fervour – the astonishing story of the overwhelming love Alice Gilmour was determined to live out.
I am going to tell you our story, my darlings. It is really only for you three and one other (you know who) but I can’t help hoping that the world will read it, which is why I shall probably publish it. But not for some years. When you’re fully grown up and have flown the nest. God knows what they will make of it, the world I mean, whoever they are, but I am not suggesting that any rules or taboos should be changed by our story, or new rules made. Leave all that alone. Our story, perhaps I should say my story, just is. You could tritely call it the exception that proves the rule. Perhaps that is just what it is: unique. I doubt that but it is certainly extraordinary. I have carefully chosen those words. Any old event of yawning banality is called ‘amazing’, ‘fantastic’, ‘unbelievable’, ‘fabulous’ in our current jargon. Whatever else people may call my story it is certainly extraordinary.
It is, above all, a love story, an all-consuming love story, though I have never felt consumed by love, rather continually renewed. But isn’t that what love should do to you? Consume you and renew you constantly like the phoenix. And it brought with it another constant emotion: fear. And pain. The fear of pain. The fear of the pain of losing it, this wonderful state. The word love doesn’t fully express what I/we felt. Another word that is more or less totally debased.
Read an Interview:
What are four things you can’t live without?
Air, water, sunlight and love.
What is your favorite television show?
Oh, so many. Comedy from the past: Fawlty Towers, Dad’s Army, Monty Python. Drama: Pride And Prejudice (almost any production of it. There are many). Several of the top police serials of no more that six episodes. Prime Suspect was terrific when it started. Almost any good current affairs programme. No soaps, please.
If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?
The trouble is that almost every literary heroine has to go through such hell. Can you think of one who had a life of luxury, loving children, a full cultural life and a wonderful lover who didn’t stray? I’ll take her.
What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?
I have already started my next book, a novel not a memoir. It is about a famous TV figure (not showbiz) who is accused of a thirty-year-old rape. He is happily married with grown up, successful children, and it is about the effect the accusation has on his wife and family, as well as the destruction of his professional life long before whether his guilt or innocence is resolved.
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
The ones that I have most enjoyed reading. I named several in another interview. I do not want to name them again because I feel that I would be in some way claiming to have had some of their ability rub off on me and that would be hubristic.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
If you want to know about my life and background read this book. I can scarcely add to what I have written about myself in there. I earnestly hope that the rest of my life is too uneventful to even consider writing anything else, I am no novelist. The life I have described was full enough and rich enough for me. God knows what I would come out with if I had to invent. If you find you need a good chef I shall consider anything not too energetic – which rules out most jobs in the kitchen.
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