The Spider's Strategy is about survival-being forced to remember and then advised to forget. As a child, Carol learned early to handle pain and cruelty, experiences that created the prism through which she views her life. She is now seventy-five and spending more and more time mulling over the past. She comes to realize how destructive to her adult life are the defenses she developed as a child. She worries she is becoming senile. She takes to her bed where she feels she can hide from the world while she thinks. She imagines her memories as a web that she must untangle and the spider who spins the web as a part of herself she converses with. She sees the spider. She feels its web insinuating itself through her nostrils, into her ears, wrapping itself around her neck, and she is terrified. Slowly, she understands that the spider is a symbol of integration, that her task is to clarify her memories, accept their reality, and reenter the world.
I am seventy-five, and this is my first book, a work of fiction, of fact, and of truth. I arrived in London, from New Zealand, in the late sixties, where I worked as a copywriter in a couple of ad agencies. I joined an American multinational on the creative side, found that corporate life was not for me, took a six-month contract in an ad agency in Barcelona, and then returned to the multinational in London, where I revised my view of corporate life. Later, I was transferred to Sydney then to New York and then back to Sydney, this time to start a new agency. I have always written to distract myself from reality. My stories and poems were about animals and objects, gentle loves as far from the everyday world as possible. Symbolism has always interested me, and when very young, I wrote a poem about a nightingale who fell in love with a rose. And in the pure consummation of his love, he was fatally pierced in the heart by the thorn of the rose. I was later disappointed to find that a Persian poet had got there before me. We have a cat, a rescued cat we drove halfway across New South Wales to collect, without knowing he had been at a shelter around the corner until a few days before! He controls the universe.