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In a 1989 interview, Drabble says, "What I wanted to show in The Radiant Way is that even when you're living in a hostile climate politically, you yourself can live well, have a good life, supper with your friends.
Drabble suggests an infinitely expanding social network, conveying Woolf's web of relationship, until the web threatens to thin into nothingness" NORA FOSTER STOVEL, INTERNATIONAL FICTION REVIEW 18.
In the afterword, Drabble reveals that she based this work on her mother's life, supplemented by letters and documents.
Burrowing under the present and layering her story with metaphor, Margaret Drabble explores the persistence of the past, for better and for worse.
In The Peppered Moth, Drabble explores the idea of a depressive gene--something she returns to in this "oblique memoir" (Telegraph [UK], 4/19/2009).
THE TOPIC: Drabble inherited her love of jigsaw puzzles from her mother's spinster sister, Auntie Phyllis, who was also the village school mistress and who helped her parents run a roadside inn.
Clearly, Drabble didn't intend to write anything resembling a big scholarly book about the human fascination with games and other pastimes, and she didn't have to.