About the Book
“In Pursuit . . .” reinvents the life of Katherine Mansfield (1988-1923), the modernist writer who revolutionized the short story, created the only writing Virginia Woolf was ever jealous of, and was consumed by tuberculosis at thirty-four.
Intertwined into the story are Katherine’s letter and journal writings that reveal her volatile relationships with her husband, her caregiver Ida, and her extraordinary passion for life as she fights against a disease that saps her energy and steals her time to write.
The story begins in London where Mansfield has married her long-time lover John Middleton Murry. Soon after, on her thirtieth birthday, she is diagnosed with tuberculosis and told she has a few years to live if she stops writing, moves to a sanatorium, and promises to live a quiet, passive life.
Too young for such a prognosis she attempts a home cure that fails. Then, a wandering consumptive with a fierce grip on life and her writing tools, she travels from London to Paris, to the Riviera and to the Alps in pursuit of a cure, not only for herself, but through her work, perhaps, for others.
“In Pursuit . . . The Katherine Mansfield Story Retold” is an absorbing tale of desire, impermanence, and atonement. A haunting exploration of one woman’s powerful determination to live a full and challenging life in spite of the limitations forced upon her by illness.
Praise for Katherine Mansfield
“This book will delight all KM devotees, who will relish another chance to live through the extraordinary life of KM—a life which never ceases to fascinate and move . . .”—Dr. Gerri Kimber, Katherine Mansfield Society
“ . . . Particularly captivating are the conversations with the Bloomsbury crowd, especially the intimate discussions between Virginia Woolf and Mansfield.”
—Francesca Baker, For Books’ Sake
“Thoroughly researched, FitzPatrick has recreated the life of Katherine Mansfield with all her troubles, failures, successes, and wildness.”—Mirella Patzer, History and Women
“A brilliant, beautifully written novel . . .” —Mel Ulm, The Reading Life
I have to admit that I did not know much about Katherine Mansfield before reading this story, but this book brought the novelist to life for me. Based off of Mansfield’s life Katherine Mansfield is a beautifully woven story that details her struggle to survive. This is a rich narrative that will pull you in and make you want to learn more and more about Mansfield.
Honestly, Mansfield lived such a tragic life. She was such an amazing author and then to be faced with death at such a young age is unimaginable. But she definitely also had a lot of fight in her! And it was fascinating reading about all of the different purported “cure alls” during this time. But what also really stood out in this book are the relationships between Mansfield and others. It was so engrossing to “see” her interact with others and form these bonds.
This book is a perfect read for readers, writers, and anyone who wants to feel inspired. Mansfield was such a strong person and I loved getting this fictionalized glimpse into her life. And while I admittedly didn’t know much about Mansfield, I feel as if FitzPatrick was most successful with in this book was her artful and realistic portrayal of Mansfield.
About the Author
JOANNA FITZPATRICK was raised in Hollywood, but now, when not living in a 16th Century hameau in southern France, she and her husband, musician Jim Payne, and their son perch in the St. Lucia mountains above Carmel Valley, California. FitzPatrick went from being a screenwriter, to an artist manager, to a record company CEO. She then took the proverbial road less traveled and returned to school to become an author: BA at Suny Purchase; MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. The 10th Anniversary Edition of her novel, KATHERINE MANSFIELD, based on the famous short story writer, is coming out on October 14. JF is currently at work on her next novel, THE SKETCH BOX (She Writes Press).
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*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*