Why Didn’t You Just Do What You Were Told?: Essays
Dark, deeply personal, and wildly funny, the posthumous collection of essays by writer Jenny Diski–Why Didn’t You Just Do What You Were Told? has something for everyone.
This is not a book for the faint of heart; Diski tackles subjects as varied as mental health, child abuse, and cannibalism, but balances those against more lighthearted fair. However, most of the light and dark and good evil occur within the same essays. Her desire to live in a pure, all-white environment prompts a trip to Antarctica at the heart of the longest essay in the book, “A feeling for Ice.” But, in those musings on her deepest desires, she returns to a dysfunctional childhood that shaped and, likely, severely damaged her.
Her wit, though, makes the reading worth it. in “The Friendly Spider Programme,” Diski attempts to beat her fear of spiders through hypnosis, and the wry and brutal observations within that act will make you howl. For fans of dark and deep and thoughtful work, Why Didn’t You Just Do What You Were Told? is a must-read.
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