“Three and a half years ago, my husband, David, died. For the two years before he died I was his full-time carer and didn’t have time to write much. For 18 months afterwards I was so grief-stricken that I didn’t write at all. Toby’s Room, my new book, is the first one I’ve done without him. When he was around he used to ask me how the writing was going. You lose that sense of someone cheering you on as you go through the laps, so this metal clicker is my very inadequate substitute for that – I click it when I’ve typed another page to keep count. I did write a section of this book while David was alive. We were in bed and I asked him if the keyboard bothered him, but he said, ‘I like to hear it.’ So whatever else belonged in the wastepaper basket, that particular bit was always going to be in the book because I wrote it when he was still with me.”
—Pat Barker (read Regeneration!), making us sad and happy.