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.