“The Valley of Unknowing” by Philip Sington

“It is a story of secrets within secrets and lies within lies, a story where the truth is no more than an idea in the mind of a child – but, for all that, a story about love.” The Valley of Unknowing, page 177

Half a year ago, I visited Philip Sington in London and he gave me a copy of his new book The Valley of Unknowing. This morning I finished reading it. He signed it with:

To Annemarie,
more inspiration?
(Only joking!)
Best Wishes,

Yes, the story does give me a lot inspiration. Not in a way like The Einstein Girl, that inspired me to write a monologue from the perspective of the girl. This new book gives a brilliant inside in the life of a writer, more specifically, a writer in the former German Democratic Republic. It makes me want to write again.

The book tells about a life story that touches my heart deeply. Especially in the last few pages it becomes clear that in fact it is all about love. It valleyofunknowingmoves me so much that even when writing these words, my eyes are filling with tears. It is beautiful and beautifully written, and I am very happy you gave it to me, Philip. Thank you for sharing this story. I hope many people will read it.

“One thing I knew about the novelist’s task: when in doubt, write; when empty, write; when afraid, write. Nothing is more impenetrable than the blank page. The blank page is the void, the absence of sense and feeling, the white light of literary death.” The Valley of Unknowing, page 178