The University of Oxford are running a symposium to celebrate the work and life of writer Jenny Diski, who died in 2016.
Diski wrote in many genres, from novels and short stories, to memoirs, travel narratives, and books on human-animal relationships and the 1960s. She was also a prolific reviewer, who contributed regularly to the London Review of Books.
This symposium seeks to bring Jenny to the fore by recognising that it is precisely her difference from what we might expect that makes her so exciting, and by drawing together the many aspects of her work. How, for instance, does Diski extend our understanding of life writing, autofiction, and travel literature? How does she explore the individual mind and social institutions? Is it right to think of her as a Jewish writer, and how does Jewishness figure in her work? What do we make of her provocative interrogations of gender and sexuality? It is hoped that by addressing questions such as these, with a close attention to literary form, this celebration of her work will help to place Diski where she belongs: as one of the most important writers of our time. Period.
Author and contributor to Brave New Words, Blake Morrison is keynote speaker and artist Sarah Lightman will be sharing a piece entitled, ‘I Forget That I Already Wrote It’, which she’d collaborated on Jenny Diski and Aline Kominsky-Crumb.