Worlds Apart: A Memoir

David Plante (Author)


A rich companion to the first volume of David Plante's memoir, Becoming a Londoner, Worlds Apart explores worlds of experience drawn from the millions of words Plante has put to the page in his diaries over the last fifty years. This new volume doesn't follow sequentially from the first--rather it can be read on its own or as an overlay, building and expanding on the relationships and experiences recalled in Becoming a Londoner. Plante widens the scope of this second volume, recounting his adventures in France, Italy, Greece, Russia, Israel, New York, even Oklahoma. Fragments of diaries, notes, sketches, and drawings deepen and enrich the "characters" we met in the first volume, including Nikos, his longtime partner, and luminaries such as Philip Roth and E.M. Forster.

Plante is never without a school notebook and a ballpoint pen. He writes everywhere, updating his diary in the waiting areas of train stations or airplane terminals, and on long trips without interruptions. He spends hours in cafes, especially one in Lucca called Di Simo, and at home, in his study, where he is amazed that he starts an entry in full sunlight and puts his pen down at night, hardly aware that he'd needed to switch on a desk lamp to continue. It is this lifelong devotion to his diary that endows us with decades of stories about the artistic elite. Both a deeply personal memoir and a fascinating and significant work of cultural history, Worlds Apart is a luminous evocation of a world of writers, poets, artists, and thinkers.

Product Details

Bloomsbury Publishing
Publish Date
August 25, 2015
6.5 X 1.25 X 9.44 inches | 1.5 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

David Plante is the author of nine novels and two memoirs, The Pure Lover and the first volume of Becoming a Londoner, and has published stories, profiles, and features in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Esquire, and Vogue. The notebooks of his diary are kept in the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library. He has both UK and U.S. citizenship and lives in London, England; Lucca, Italy; and Athens, Greece.


"A daringly skillful writer." --Philip Roth

"An understated, observant, and earnest memoir from an acclaimed novelist." --Best Books of 2015, Kirkus

"One of the most necessary and resonant novelists of his generation." --Peter Straub

"Novelist Plante continues to mine his decades-spanning diary to create vivid, intimate, in-the-moment memoirs documenting his literary and art-filled cosmopolitan life . . . A remarkably affecting, open, graceful, and scintillating record of a 38-year same-sex union and two entwined creative lives fully lived." --Booklist

"[Worlds Apart has] a wavering aura of love about [it] . . . nuanced, rich and absorbing." --New York Review of Books

"Recommended for lovers of arts and letters." --Library Journal

"Vividly indiscreet in the manner of all good diarists, catching character in sharp, lapidary prose." --Times Literary Supplement

"Anybody who enjoys high-class literary gossip is in for a treat with this second volume of [Plante's] memoirs, covering the 1980s . . . You just can't help longing for the next installment." --The Independent

"A satisfying, enriching memoir. We feel close to its narrator, who admits his faults and portrays those close to him with both sympathy and a cold observer's eye . . . A trenchant account of a sensitive, reflective transatlantic American author who in all senses lives between worlds--alas, standing apart from and outside of them, as he never quite roots himself." --The Gay and Lesbian Review

"Our highest criterion for art or literature is that it moves us, and this memoir is moving indeed." --Bay Area Reporter

"[A] vividly entertaining first-hand view of modern literary anecdote and social gossip." --Glasgow Herald

"Always elegant, Plante's prose winds around and meanders . . . An engrossing look into the veteran writer's younger existence . . . He makes the perfect narrator to decades in flux . . . Becoming a Londoner isn't about transitions, it is about an evolution--from one thing to another, where there is no such thing as going back to older times, but rather starting currents and moving forward." --Daily News on Becoming a Londoner

"Entries take on the languid feel of the floating world . . . A seamlessly charming narrative both evocative and sensual." --Publishers Weekly on BECOMING A LONDONER

"Love and life among literary lions . . . Plante is a crafter of limpid prose, possessed of keen insight and sympathy. He also displays a rare gift for finely wrought characterization. The poet Stephen Spender, an intimate of Plante's, vividly emerges from these pages as a profoundly endearing sad-uncle figure, an accomplished man of letters beset by insecurity and furtively hiding his homosexuality from his forceful wife, Natasha. A richly detailed document of the London art scene of the '60s and an affecting memoir of the artist as a young man." --Kirkus Reviews on Becoming a Londoner