An Experiment in Leisure by Anna Glendenning
Grace is ping ponging between the north and ‘that London’ confused about sex, class and her place in the world. Psychoanalysis just seems to add to the confusion, and when drink and drugs are in plentiful supply and take the edge off all the navel gazing, is the expense worthwhile? Jobs are equally nonsensical and bewildering, and though they fund the day-to-day expenses hardly help one’s state of mind. A return to her working-class roots in the north is attractive (and cheap) if family relationships weren’t like walking on broken glass, but do it anyway? Yeah? Written with such brio and break neck intensity Anna Glendenning’s An Experiment in Leisure is a “one’s twenties, what the hell was that all about?” classic. As anyone in their thirties or forties knows if you can gather your sexual, familial, employment and residential problems, screw them all up into a tight ball, chuck it on the nearest available skip and run free you’ll be okay. Grace doesn’t quite manage this but she’s on the way to being okay anyway, a new relationship blossoming with a woman she can (maybe) settle down with and in the process (maybe) become too boring for Anna’s next novel. Although Grace & Ginger has got a certain ring to it. A great book and already one of my big favourites of 2022.
An Experiment in Leisure – Anna Glendenning – publ. Vintage - £8.99