What I read
G B Stern, Unless I Marry (1959), which is a bit weird. It has some lovely typical passages of insight into individual behaviour and interactions between individuals, but it's almost as though she set out to describe a particular person and their general situation and then about two-thirds of the way through decided that Moar Plot was needed and goes off into rather aytpical melodraaaama, including the back-story.
Margaret Drabble, The Pure Gold Baby, which was on my re-read list, looked for it the other week, couldn't find it, discovered it when looking for something else, which is rather the theme at the moment. To find a book, I have to look everywhere I think it might be, give up, and then look for something else entirely. Now, in this one, and perhaps I noticed particularly by contrast with the Stern, she almost eschews anything that might count as plot entirely, and pretty much gets away with it. But then I imprinted on Drabble at an early age (c. 17, as I recall); also, for me she is one of those writers whose style I find myself mentally narrating bits of my own life in, while reading them or just after.
Jill Robinson, Doctor Rocksinger and the Age of Longing (1982). There was a period in the mid to late 90s when, having discovered internet booksellers and postage charges being lower than they now are, I was acquiring quite a lot of works by writers who had written something I had found interesting. In the case of Robinson, I had been very taken with her memoir Bed/Time/Story (1974). This novel, however, while I suppose it fits into a trajectory of novels which instead of being about women going to pieces, are about women getting themselves together, or at least beginning the journey in that direction, is not particularly anything I would recommend: it's readable enough, I suppose.
Vivian Gornick, The Situation and the Story: the art of personal narrative (2001) which is very insightful on what makes essayists/memoirists good, although there are things there I might argue with and I should really like to see her wrestle with GB Stern's 'ragbag chronicles'...
On the go
Still working through Solar Flares.
I started Octavia Butler's Unexpected Stories on the Kobo recently - early work but good, so far.
Jill Robinson, Past Forgetting (1999), which takes her back to memoir and an account of how, after a life-threatening grand mal seizure, she found herself with memory loss (including forgetting that she had married an Englishman and was living in London) and fugue states. And this is really a much stronger work.
Not sure - have various things in the pipeline. Also, should probably get started on Antonia Forest, The Player's Boy, for the trennels readthrough.