Dr Jenni Fagan
‘A phenomenal memoir. I am in awe’ AMY LIPTROT
‘Beautiful, deep, dangerous, transfixing . . . it will burn a home in your heart, it has in mine. Read every word of every page. Turn them carefully. Jenni Fagan is made of fire and spirit. From start to finish I could not put it down. Close the door. Sit down now. Read Ootlin. Read’ LEMN SISSAY
‘Essential reading, life changing, I couldn’t stop reading once I started . . . Unbelievably brave. Beautiful , earth shattering and unforgettable. A truly rare talent’ SAMANTHA MORTON
The government told a story about me before I was born.
Jenni Fagan was property of the state before birth. She drew her first breath in care and by the age of seven, she had lived in fourteen different homes and had changed name multiple times.
Twenty years after her first attempt to write this powerful memoir, Jenni is finally ready to share her account. Ootlin is a journey through the broken UK care system – it is one of displacement and exclusion, but also of the power of storytelling. It is about the very human act of making meaning from adversity.
A phenomenal memoir. I am in awe. It takes exceptional strength to survive the events described in this book and courage, skill and magic to write a life story, especially when this type of story is often marginalised -- Amy Liptrot A clear-eyed, unsentimental account of the author's childhood being shuffled between foster homes. Her resilience is remarkable. It's a book that really made me want to reach through the pages and help -- Douglas Stuart An astonishing piece of work. I tore through it, and it through me. I will never, ever forget it -- Niall Griffiths Ootlin is a 21st century classic from one of our most exceptional writers -- Adelle Stripe Heartbreaking, magnificent, and incredibly important . . . [Jenni Fagan] is one of the best -- Ever Dundas A terrifying descent into a childhood of an un-looked-after child, growing up and expected to make sense of a senseless system -- Denise Mina Beautiful, deep, dangerous, transfixing . . . it will burn a home in your heart, it has in mine. Read every word of every page. Turn them carefully. Jenni Fagan is made of fire and spirit. From start to finish I could not put it down. Close the door. Sit down now. Read Ootlin. Read -- Lemn Sissay This is essential reading, life changing, I couldn't stop reading once I started. All day and all night. The world had to stop whilst I stayed with little Ootlin. The poetic nature with which Jenni has written about her childhood is mind blowing. Unbelievably brave. Beautiful , earth shattering and unforgettable. A truly rare talent -- Samantha Morton Brilliant. Devastating. Redemptive. I read it in one sitting -- Heidi James Novelist and poet Fagan writes powerfully about her childhood as a ward of the state, a rootless existence that fostered a fascination with storytelling * Guardian * In Ootlin, Jenni Fagan brings to the memoir form those qualities for which her novels are so highly and justly praised: stylistic and structural innovation, an idiosyncratic lyricism, a fierce and untameable energy and an infectious, compelling narrative drive. Add to this a sorrow and pity for the vulnerable, a rage at those who would exploit that, and a despair at the failure of human empathy, and you have a vital document for these times. It is a beautiful, astonishing piece of work. I tore through it, and it through me. I will never, ever forget it -- Niall Griffiths With punchy prose and a harrowing story of staggering resilience and fortitude, Fagan's memoir should be required reading -- Claire Fuller Fagan's Ootlin is a heartbreaking, magnificent, and incredibly important book. We are fortunate to have the light of this writer-witch shining amongst us; she is one of the best -- Ever Dundas Jenni has offered a difficult and vital gift to the world with Ootlin. It's the story of how a self is shattered, and what it takes to put a new self back together -- a story about the necessity of telling your own story. Through fragmented memories whose jagged edges cut deep, she shows us a system unable to do anything other than break those in its un-care -- but we also see the moments of kindness that mean survival, and a strength of spirit that shines through -- Josie Giles Ootlin is a phenomenal work, it is powerful and beautiful, raw and real and such an important and evocative book, it clean broke my heart and the skilled deft pen of Fagan pieced it back together again. An empowering work but also shares an extraordinary vulnerability, this is a masterclass in the art of memoir writing -- Salena Godden This is the most important book you'll read this year. It should be required reading for everyone who considers themselves part of a society. It will hold a mirror up to your privilege and comfort, it will emblazon its truths on your eyes, it will shock you into action and somehow, through it all, leave you rejoicing at the indomitability of one wee ootlin's hard-fought-for soul. Jenni Fagan is a warrior queen and this book is a tremendous, beautiful act of bravery, one which needs to be cherished -- Kirstin Innes Here, there suffering becomes chords and strains, refrains and melodies, and we feel the chills that come with being touched by the poetry of pain. But we owe it to Jenni, and the many she will invigorate with her story, not to look away. The push and pull of the prose perfectly mimics the life conveyed in the pages, bringing us close enough to understand why she must turn away. Jenni is composed in her candour, though this is a memoir that goes beyond honesty, and to attempt to describe the soul of this book is to diminish its power -- Derek Owusu Ootlin is an astounding memoir. It brims with fire and alchemy, truth and spellbinding resilience. Jenni Fagan has conjured magic out of the story of her past, and particularly her childhood in care, and out of it made a work of art, and a life. Magnificent. It blew me away -- Chitra Ramaswamy Mesmerizing, heart-breaking and so, so beautiful. I'll never forget it -- Annie Mac Stunning and powerful memoir * Scots Magazine * Fagan's prose is poetic, high-octane, built on punchy sentences * Sunday Times on LUCKENBOOTH * Fagan switches effortlessly between dreamy prose and a more dynamic style * Financial Times on LUCKENBOOTH * Dazzlingly ambitious -- Douglas Stuart on LUCKENBOOTH One of the most stunning literary experiences I've had in years -- Irvine Welsh on LUCKENBOOTH Absolutely outstanding writing -- Kirstin Innes, author of Scabby Queen, on LUCKENBOOTH
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