Redstone Diary 2024: The Family Diary


The 2024 Redstone Diary opens a window on that most enigmatic part of our everyday lives: the family. It has been an essential subject for artists, writers, singers – therapists and psychoanalysts. Tolstoy wrote: All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. But was he right? Perhaps Dodie Smith got closer to the truth when she wrote that the family was an octopus, from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to. Together or alone, we cannot escape the family.

These bonds are explored in a marvellous array of texts, selected by Julian Barnes, from writers including Willa Cather, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf and Philip Roth. Images include still captures from home movies, photographs of Depression-era group prayer, psychological tests and the works of artists such as Paula Rego’s disturbing imagery of fatherhood, Frida Kahlo’s reimagining of her genealogy and John Lennon’s lyrics to his absent mother. 

Edited by Julian Rothenstein

with an introduction and texts selected by Julian Barnes

245mm x 167mm / 160pp / Spiral bound

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