From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Part memoir, part rigorously researched historical perspective, Drabble's book is a multi-layered look at jigsaw puzzles and their role through the ages for society, individuals, and herself; it's also a charming homage to Drabble's beloved Auntie Phyl, who passed her lifelong love of jigsaws on to Drabble. Alongside memories that appear "in bright colours and clear blocks, like the large pieces of a child's wooden jigsaw," Drabble takes a survey of games in literature and art, including Brueghel's 1560 "Children's Games," a complex illustration featuring more than 90 games; and spends much time considering their psychological importance. Readers will probably be surprised, as Drabble was, to learn that jigsaws were originally connected to education rather than amusement; since then, the idea has become one of the "quasi-educational apologia for the doing of jigsaws," the idea that "you learn about the brush strokes of Van Gogh, the clouds of Constable," etc., from puzzling them together. (Indeed, "Doing jigsaws stimulates bizarre theories of art history.") While fascinating, Drabble's highly intellectual, highly British study will pose a special challenge for American audiences. Readers unafraid of doing some extra work will be richly rewarded.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Courageous." (Michael Cunningham, New York Times Book Review
"One of a king...It will take the reader on a journey unlike anything else in the bookstore." (Christian Science Monitor
"The Pattern in the Carpet
...not only looks like a memoir, it reads like one, and a fine one at that." (Montreal Gazette