Review: Becoming Drusilla

2009-05-06, , , Comments

Becoming Drusilla cover

It’s hard for me to be objective about Becoming Drusilla. A friend of mine wrote it and I’ve met its subject, Dru, a few times — though she spelled her name “Drew” then, short for Andrew, and very male she appeared too.

The book centres on a journey which starts in Bristol then heads out of Chepstow on foot along Offa’s Dyke. As the two of them walk, Richard mulls over his relationship with Dru, past and present, and tries to work out how it all happened. Dru identifies wildlife and knows all the words to some arcane songs. They squabble over directions. Mid-way, they abandon the Dyke, instead heading for St Davids, Pembrokeshire.

It’s a cracking book, if something of a conundrum for book-sellers. On which shelf do you put a travel book which is also a biography and indeed an autobiography, which covers gender issues with wit and intelligence? Oh, and it also includes some rather good haiku and illustrations. So pile it high near the front, then!

Dru Marland, self-portrait

Becoming Drusilla has just been relaunched in paperback. Richard and Dru will be reading from the book in the Green Room at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol, on Friday 8th May, 7:45 pm.

On a personal note, I’m looking forward to meeting Dru again. It must be almost a decade since we last met in person. Now, of course, I’ve read her biography. I’m also her friend on Facebook which doesn’t mean much since I barely use Facebook. She has a fine blog and her Flickr photostream includes some beautiful photographs and illustrations. See you on Friday.

Update: looks like Richard is unwell and won’t be able to make it.