Formed as a series of anecdotes, encounters and memories, which intersperse the author's time as a war reporter in Angola with snapshots from a suburban childhood and feelings about her return to 'normal' life after Angola, this book is fiercely honest and compelling. Pawson explores gender, race, identity, voyeurism and inequality and the book's fragmented structure unfolds like a real sequence of thought patterns making it an intimate and moving read. Strongly recommend.
After dismantling her marriage, Levy starts again age 50, deliberately not choosing to be a minor character as a wife and mother, having built a home that is arranged for everyone except herself. Without pity Levy describes her transition to a new life outside of what is expected, despite patriarchy's need to diminish her powers. Levy writes sparingly but knocks you sideways with surreal and witty metaphors which illuminate her internal world, always with an understated wisdom and honesty. A must read.
Published by Penguin on April 5th 2018
Establishing herself as an accomplished confessional writer, Viv Albertine's second book is a searingly honest account of her life post-divorce as she settles in Hackney. Ultimately a study in family dynamics, negotiating identities as daughter, sister, mother while always being an outsider, the book is rich with insight and peppered with quotes from other writers such as Plath, Solnit, Rhys which add another layer to articulating this particular female experience. With extracts from her mother and father's diaries, Albertine documents the fallibility of memory and truth, the psychic legacy of her mother and the anger and resilience that informs her worldview.