In place of the attic, there is the 1,400-square-foot “Skybrary” (translation: library in the sky), a mystical aerie carved and customized for Ms. Gilbert by an imaginative carpenter, Michael Flood.
Of course, one way to escape what Jeanette Winterson calls “the received idea that women always write about ‘experience’ ’’ is to set stories on space stations, or in Internet-free postapocalyptic landscapes populated by robots, or simply in the past; to create a protagonist of the opposite sex, or a different age or race, or even a nonhuman; to construct a thriller, or an epic, or an experiment with form.
In the three-page letter, written to his friend Anne Symonds in 1891, Carroll (whose real name was Charles Dodgson) railed against collectors of his autograph letters. “All of that sort of publicity leads to strangers hearing of my real name in connection with the books, and to my being pointed out to and stared at by strangers and being treated as a ‘lion,’” he wrote. “And I hate all of that so intensely that sometimes I almost wish I had never written any books at all.”
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