Bad Blood

Lorna Sage

  • Monkey’s Uncle by Jenny Diski
    Weidenfeld, 258 pp, £14.99, March 1994, ISBN 0 297 84061 4

This is a compendious, layered novel – see ‘historiographic metafiction’ in the narratology handbook – the sort of novel that intercuts time zones and genres of fiction (realism, fantasy) and so fleshes out the present’s bleakness. In the present, middle-aged Charlotte FitzRoy is having a breakdown, precipitated very likely (thinks the business-like psychiatrist who plies her with anti-depressants she doesn’t take) by the death of her daughter Miranda in a car-crash; though as Charlotte sees it, loss of her political faith, dating from the coming-down of the Berlin Wall, has had rather more to do with it.

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