Press "Enter" to skip to content

‘It provoked an ****** shock in me’ – Marian Keyes, Nick Hornby, Leïla Slimani and other writers on the books that changed them

From Benjamin Zephaniah on Ain’t I a Woman to Elif Shafak on Orlando by Virginia Woolf – authors tell the story of the moment a book saved their life I turned 11 in April 1968, which was around the time the wheels came off the family car. They were already pretty loose. My father was one of those 1960s men who, in the pre-digital crossed-line age of phone boxes and busy signals and telegrams in an emergency, managed to start a second family without the first one knowing anything about it. When the truth was revealed (not to everyone – it would be another four or five years before my sister and I discovered that we had half-siblings), that wasn’t the end of the calamity. The First Family, or three-quarters of it, had to move house in the new belt-tightening regime, but there was a short period between houses, maybe a couple of months, that was partly spent in what might have been called a pensione if it had been in Italy rather than on the outskirts of Maidenhead, and partly spent in the house of a family friend who already had three children of her own. Continue reading...

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: