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Synopsis

How do you become a writer, and why? Maggie Gee's journey starts a long way from the literary world in a small family in post-war Britain. At seventeen, Maggie goes, a lamb to the slaughter, to university. From the 1960s onwards she lives the defining events of her generation: the coming of the Pill and sexual freedom, tremors in the British layer-cake of class and race. In the 1980s, Maggie finally gets published, falls in love, marries and has a daughter -- but for the next three decades and beyond, she survives, and sometimes thrives, by writing. This frank, bold memoir dares to explore the big questions: success and failure, sex, death and parenthood -- our animal life. 'A wise and beautiful book about what it feels like to be alive -- I really loved it' Zadie Smith 'Exceptionally interesting and brave ... a wonderful book' Claire Tomalin 'A fine, honest, complex portrait of an artist's mind' Michele Roberts, Independent 'Every word strikes like a hammer on an anvil, throwing off sizzling sparks' Bidisha, The f word 'Anyone who yearns for that lost post-war Britain would do well to read this vivid, minutely observed memoir ...Gee has a sensuous eye for detail' Sinclair McKay, Telegraph 'It is a testament to Gee's skill with structure, her lightness of touch and her honesty, particularly about the most painful episodes, that she has fashioned this account of a fundamentally satisfying and happy writer's life into such a page-turner.' Melissa Benn, New Statesman 'Maggie Gee writes with such courage and wit. This is a vivid portrait of a woman finding her way through the maze of class ridden post war England, the 60's, feminism and how to be a mother and a writer.' Diana Melly 'Highly recommended for all aspiring writers' Bernardine Evaristo 'Observant, honest and sensitively-written...' Michael Holroyd 'Fresh and funny ... with a zest for living that bounces off the page...' Psychologies 'Sensitive, honest, courageous, stylish' The Times '[Gee's] utterly compelling on the rollercoaster of writing life, from early success to rock-bottom rejection. Often joyous; infinitely wise; passionate and poised, this is a book you'll want to sit in silence with and hug to yourself -- then start again.' Daily Mail

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