A Life Discarded
written and narrated by Alexander Masters
Tantor Audio (audiobook)
If we were to explain what happens in this wonderful biography it would spoil it, so listeners will just have to trust that they must stick with it until the end. Alexander Masters, who writes biographies of unknown people, including the award-winning Stuart: A Life Backwards (2005), devoted four years to dissecting 148 diaries found in a skip. In the course of his research, however, he was often wrong-footed in his assumptions about his subject (and he discovered the diaries were only one-eighth of the number of volumes written). It’s not giving away too much to reveal that the diarist was born in 1939, lived in Cambridge, studied art, and had a crush on someone much older. Structure and plot enhance A Life Discarded, which will surely be made into a film one day.