Interviewing the great Margaret Forster last week felt something
like a discussion with a wise, distant aunt who perhaps only turned
up for big family reunions once in a blue moon. The sort of
individual whom you feel you really would like to see more
Of course one is not related to the writer, but her writing
about family matters has spanned more than 20 novels and examined
just about every possible minutia of domestic life in such a way to
make you feel as though you might just be.
Her latest Isa and May is published at the end of this
week (4th February) and looks at the often un-reported
relationship between grandmother and granddaughter.
So what did we discuss? Well
apart from the grandmother thing, we drifted off into talking about
doing research into past lives. Isamay the main character in the
novel is doing a PhD into grandmotherhood and needs to find famous
individuals. The book is therefore peppered with fascinating detail
about such lives as Elizabeth Fry, the great prison reformer, Sarah
Bernhardt the actress, George Sand the writer, even Queen Victoria
- people not first known for being grandparents.
However we then moved onto to talking about what right do we
have as descendants to research our deceased relatives and
invariably pass judgement on how they led their lives. And
what will our own descendants make of and judge our lives?
Well to hear her answers to this fascinating conversation (and I
accept no credit as interviewer here), do listen out for the
Margaret Forster interview, coming to a computer near you very
04/02/10 The Interview is now live! Have a listen and then join in the
discussion. Do we have a right to dig up our grandmothers'