Publication Date: 05/01/2021 ISBN: 9781474611466 Category:


Deborah Orr

Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publication Date: 05/01/2021 ISBN: 9781474611466 Category:
Paperback / Softback





‘A fitting legacy left by a blazing talent’ Observer
‘A masterpiece’ Andrew O’Hagan, Guardian
‘Completely amazing’ Lucy Mangan, Stylist
‘A modern classic’ Daily Mail
‘Raw, compelling, wise and tender’ Dolly Alderton
‘Outstanding’ Jenny Colgan, Spectator
‘Razor-sharp, fearless and wonderful’ Adam Kay
‘Personal, political, and blazing with truth’ Melissa Harrison
‘Crammed with wit and intelligence’ Financial Times
‘Deeply tender and very funny’ Kathy Burke
‘Full of glinting pain, brilliant one liners and utter clarity’ Suzanne Moore
‘[Orr’s] masterpiece’ Evening Standard
‘Intense and moving’ Red
‘Remarkable’ Val McDermid, i

MOTHERWELL is a sharp, candid and often humorous memoir about the long shadow that can be cast when the core relationship in your life compromises every effort you make to become an individual. It is about what we inherit – the good and the very bad – and how a deeper understanding of the place and people you have come from can bring you towards redemption.

Publisher Review

Dauntless, quietly devastating, but not without seams of happiness and magnificent wit * THE HERALD (Glasgow) * Sharp, funny, warm and memorable * SUNDAY INDEPENDENT * MOTHERWELL is an unflinching memoir of one family and a lost world. It is also an extended essay on how not to mother well and the terrible legacy that can leave * DAILY EXPRESS * Completely amazing * STYLIST * Raw, beautiful and truly insightful * GOOD HOUSEKEEPING * Vivid, visceral, uncompromising, electrifying in its candour * i * Searing, candid, magnificently perceptive and lingeringly tragic. A modern classic * DAILY MAIL * A remarkable book . . . impassioned, angry, tender, pathetic, honest to a fault. MOTHERWELL is written at such a pitch of intensity you sometimes have to put it down just to get your breath back * MAIL ON SUNDAY * Bold, clear-eyed and often very funny * RADIO TIMES * A beautifully written portrait of a quintessential Seventies working-class childhood * NEW STATESMAN * Brilliant . . . An excellent and timely slice of social reportage * METRO * A complex study of a family, childhood, and a town transformed * THE ARTS DESK * Love and understanding triumph over the difficult and painful memories. It is disconcertingly honest and self-revealing. You are unlikely to forget it * THE SCOTSMAN * A remarkable memoir, the candour of it . . . Having grown up working-class in Scotland, there are a lot of resonances * THE i NEWSPAPER * Intense and moving * RED * [Orr's] masterpiece . . . the story of her family but also a social commentary of Britain . . . a fascinating look into the childhood of one of our most important journalists * EVENING STANDARD * Complex and moving, this is an honest take on the close ties that can bind, hold us back and also set us free * STYLIST - Best New Books of 2020 * Deborah's honest and fearless spirit shines throughout MOTHERWELL. Her many struggles are told with wit and candour, but above all there is so much love in this book -- COSEY FANNI TUTTI MOTHERWELL is a story about a girl, a family, a time, a place. But so much more. Fearlessly Deborah Orr works out how she was formed as she unpicks everyday dysfunction. Full of glinting pain, brilliant one liners and utter clarity, the sliver of ice in her heart melts. Sheer humanity shines out. I was astonished -- SUZANNE MOORE Honest, at times harsh, but also deeply tender and very funny - this is a beautifully written memoir. It's my generation so evoked many unwanted memories including the three-day-week, boiled to death veg and masturbating skinheads. A great read for 'Common People' like me -- KATHY BURKE Filled with observational brilliance and wit . . . beautiful. Brilliant . . . not just an intelligent and honest personal memoir, not just an examination of narcissism, interdependence and repression, but a conjuring of a time, a moment in British history, that may otherwise be lost entirely. It is also funny. As funny, it would seem from the obituaries, as the woman herself * DAILY TELEGRAPH * If you have or had a difficult mother this is the book for you. Difficult doesn't have to mean abusive. You can have a happy childhood with a mother who drives you mad -- LINDA GRANT A poignant, beautiful and all-too-topical memoir. With the skill, delicacy and sharp wit her many fans know and love, Deborah Orr tells her tale of childhood: of class and mobility, of self-love and self-loathing, of dissatisfied mother and clever daughter, and of the dangerous, complex sacrifices which opportunity demands from a girl on the move in the late twentieth century. Are you a mother? Do/did you have a mother? Read it -- LOUISA YOUNG Utterly candid and staggeringly good, both as the history of a woman and the history of a place -- INDIA KNIGHT Crammed with wit and intelligence . . . a clever, meticulous and intricate work. Although heart-rending at times, it is also surprisingly funny . . . has a generosity of tone that means as you read it you experience sudden flashes from your own past: slights, plights, triumphs, mad asides * THE FINANCIAL TIMES * A fierce and tender reckoning: personal, political, and blazing with truth -- MELISSA HARRISON An outstanding memoir . . . The writing is powerful and muscular; the bitterness raw and furious . . . as a legacy, this book will stand at least as long as Ravenscraig * SPECTATOR * MOTHERWELL is razor-sharp, fearless and wonderful -- ADAM KAY Raw, compelling, wise and tender -- DOLLY ALDERTON Sharply intelligent and utterly unsentimental, MOTHERWELL is a fitting legacy left by a blazing talent * OBSERVER * Searching, truthful, shocking (and timely) . . . with a reporter's skill, she shows the interior life of her people. In the present climate, this book should be given out on the NHS . . . a masterpiece -- Andrew O'Hagan * GUARDIAN *

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