The Year of My Father’s Dying

Jane Campbell

On 18 October 2010 my father, Peter Campbell, was diagnosed with the cancer of which he would die exactly one year and one week later. I do not know precisely how he lived with the knowledge of his approaching death, what denials he practised or accommodations he reached, because he chose – once the oncologist at the Royal Marsden had handed down the death sentence – to live as much as possible as he had before. He continued to write pieces for the LRB and to paint its covers; he walked round London and spent time with his friends. He did not go on the internet to seek out miracle cures; that would have been out of character, and his character did not change.

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[*] Now back in London, The Clock is showing at Tate Modern until 20 January.