R. J. Kinnarney
Don't Think a Single Thought - Diana Cambridge
Updated: Feb 9, 2020
I bought this book in the first place purely to support indie publisher, Louise Walters, after she put out a call on Twitter. I knew neither Louise nor the author, Diana Cambridge, so I had no expectations at all. First up, when I opened the package, I was stunned by how beautiful the book looks. Louise and team have done a fabulous job with it. It's been years now since I became cured of my obsessive need to keep books looking pristine. This one, however, could be leading me back down that treacherous path; the path where friends refuse to borrow books from me because they can't bear the looks when they return them.
Anyway, I digress. As soon as I read the opening lines, I knew that I was going to be hooked. The novella, inspired by the life of Manhattan writer, Sue Kaufman, is set in 1960s New York and, for me, is the story of a life and a mind unravelling.
It's a superb examination of character. Cambridge draws the character of Emma Bowden with a Woolfeian intensity. Emma is an intriguing, entirely believable character; a character whose early tragedy and lack of privilege overshadows everything in later life. The prose is spare, with not a superfluous word. Speaking as an educator, this should be an A Level text.
It's a quick read but one which will stay with you for a very long time. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
More about the book here: