"A wise and beautiful book about what it feels like to be aliveâI really loved it."âZadie Smith
"Maggie Gee's account of her life as a writer cuts to the bone as she relives triumphs, rejections, despair and renewal. It's a wonderful book, for its boldness and vigour, and for its piercing honesty."âClaire Tomalin
How do you become a writer, and why?
Maggie Gee's journey starts in a small family in post-war Britain, a long way from the literary world. 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 daughterâbut 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 parenthoodâour animal life.
Maggie Gee was chosen as one of Granta's original Best Young British Novelists. She has published many novels to great acclaim, including The White Family, shortlisted for the Orange and IMPAC prizes; My Cleaner; The Flood, longlisted for the Orange Prize; and The Ice People. She was the first female chair of the Royal Society of Literature from 2004â2008 and is now one of its vice presidents.
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