O is for Oh, who could that be?

Number 15 in The A to Z of the Writer’s Affliction, part of the A to Z blogging challenge.


I’ve already mentioned Julian Barnes, Kate Atkinson and James Patterson, and today I introduce another of my favourite authors. But this time, I’m going to ask you to guess. Below is an extract from his diary, written exactly 75 years ago yesterday. First person to provide the answer in the comments wins um… how about a postcard from Mayotte? With a thoughtful message and hugs and the prettiest stamp I can find?

17th April 1941. Very heavy raid last night, probably the heaviest in many months, as far as London is concerned… Bomb in Lord’s cricket ground (schoolboys having their exercise at the nets as usual this morning, a few yards from the crater) and another in St John’s Wood churchyard. This one luckily didn’t land among the graves, a thing I have been dreading will happen… Passed this morning a side-street somewhere in Hampstead with one house in it reduced to a pile of rubbish by a bomb – a sight so usual that one hardly notices it. The street is cordoned off, however, digging squads at work, and a line of ambulances waiting. Underneath that huge pile of bricks there are mangled bodies, some of them perhaps alive.

The guns kept up their racket nearly all night… Today I can find no one who admits to having slept last night, and Eileen says the same. The formula is: ‘I never closed my eyes for an instant.’ I believe this is all nonsense. Certainly it is hard to sleep in such a din, but Eileen and I must have slept quite half the night.


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    • Well, she was in London during the war, so I guess it could have been… I’ll see if I can come up with some others, at least till you win 🙂

  1. Ohhhhhhh!!! Not any idea… however i’d love to get a postcard from Mayotte, you know I like travelling and to know new places… thanks in advabce!! hahahaha…

    • Thanks for the guess, and I’m afraid there is no good second guess – your first was correct. Beaten by just a few hours, but there’s been a good response, so I’ll have to make this a regular feature!

  2. Yeah, my vote’s for Orwell, too. I recently read some, I think from his diary, about his stay in hospital (was it for TB? I can’t remember). Gosh, I’ll have to dig that up. It was good reading.

    • Thanks for the guess, Leigh. Yes, he contracted TB early on in life, died from it just as 1984 was published. And I’m sure what you read was good – as Christopher Hitchens said, he couldn’t have written a bad sentence if he tried.

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