Friday, 20 January 2012
Author: Joan Grant
Year of publication: 1956 (as Time Out of Mind), Corgi edition 1975.
Back cover blurb: The astonishing Joan Grant became aware as a child of her uncanny gift of "far memory" - the ability to recall in detail previous incarnations in other centuries and other lands. Her books, published and reviewed as historical novels, have been highly praised for their extraordinary vividness and detail. They are, in fact, the author's memories of her earlier lives.
FAR MEMORY is Joan Grant's autobiography, the story of a girl sometimes unaware, sometimes frightened of her strange gift, and of the final realisation of her many lifetimes...
Quick flick reveals: As well as being able to recall past lives (see Return to Elysium below), reincarnating novelist Grant also seems to see be able to see ghosts (which suggests that the progress of the soul after death is somewhat convoluted). Her autobiography mixes rather flat descriptions of extraordinary experiences with more mundane details of her life that are quite beautiful in their banality.
Random paragraph: 'Not being able to offer this ghostly comfort I took him to Hayling, where he stayed until he had recovered. The following year he paid me the great compliment of taking me with him to inspect the wicket at Lord's. Never have I enjoyed a walk as the one across that hallowed turf under the furious glares of old gentlemen in the Pavilion. I was secretly so tired of watching even Douglas play cricket that my cup was filled to overflowing when he decided the wicket was not fit for play and so was free to take me to a cinema.'