The Pattern in the Carpet
A Personal History with JigsawsMargaret Drabble
1 March 2010
Published by Atlantic Books
A beautifully written and deeply personal book on the jigsaw puzzle and the part it has played in its distinguished author’s life. Weaving together memoir, jigsaw history and the strange delights of puzzling, the result is ‘a treat.’ –Nicholas Tucker, Independent
Margaret Drabble explores the history of the jigsaw alongside her own personal pursuit of what Boswell called the ‘innocent soothing relief from melancholy’ found in puzzles and board games. Alongside eighteenth-century ‘dissected maps’, the intricate word-play of Georges Perec and the world’s hardest five-thousand-piece jigsaw – a Jackson Pollock painting – Drabble recreates her own intimate childhood memories. The result is a startling and original exploration of how we rearrange the world into patterns, both to make sense of our past and ornament our present.