From @anne: I was wondering why he felt the need to write a book about his late wife?
Detmar Blow: There were several reasons:
I wanted to make sense of why issie had taken her life. She told me when we met and became engaged in 1988 that she wanted to draw a line on her early life. She was not she said proud of some of the things. I knew it must have been dark. When i researched it I found it much darker than I had suspected, ie the blame for the death of her brother, heroin, a real anger with the first boyfriend, babies.
I wanted to deal with my father’s death on paper.
i had kept a diary before and during my life with Issie that i needed to write it up. I relived our lives and now it is committed to a book. I am released from the adventures we had– good and bad. i was interested in describing Issie factually and not the fantasy myth. Issie was a great bubbling creative person funny brave mischievous etc – she also carried a dark emotional burden. Her school friends recognized it at Heathfield but not many others later in life. She put a mask up.
I was interested in describing the person underneath the hats, clothes and “armour.” A courageous woman who had been dealt a bad hand in life– death, suicide, poverty, homelessness, childlessness–who courageously fought hard and achieved beyond her wildest dreams.
I based my book on 19 years of living and knowing Issie, what she told me about her early life, our archives–letters, cuttings, papers which she gave me–I did a history degree and then practiced as a lawyer an am interested in fact not fiction, her medical notes, and interviewing some key people. The book is about my wife who I knew better than anyone else.
I believe Issie to have been an important person whose creative legacy will become more and more important.