This house has been a regular presence in my life for as long as I can remember. My heart has sunk a little every time I walk in . . .
Samantha Clark enjoyed a busy career as an artist before returning home to Glasgow to take care of the house that her parents had left behind. Moving from room to room, sifting through the clutter of belongings, reflecting on her mother’s long, sedated years of mental illness and her father’s retreat to the world of amateur radio and model planes, Samantha began to contemplate her inheritance.
A need for creativity and a desire for solitude had sprung up from a childhood shaped by anxiety and confusion. Weaving in the works and lives of others, including celebrated painter Agnes Martin and scientist of dark matter Vera Rubin, The Clearing is a powerful account of what we must do with the things we cannot know.
‘Samantha Clark writes on the subtle edge of words and thought. She renders the world within and the world of ideas with electric sensitivity and acute intelligence’ Jay Griffiths
Clark's perceptive memoir takes as its focal point "the gap left when something is gone", and the "clearing" of the title refers in large part to the process of visiting, again and again, her parents' home in Glasgow after their deaths, deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. At face value, this appears to be a memoir about grief, but it is not quite that. Rather, it is a reflection on art, life and the beauty to be found in things we can never fully understand -- Niamh Donnelly * Times Literary Supplement * Samantha Clark's lyrically written memoir is a sensitive and haunting account of what it is like to grow up with a mentally ill parent, and how it affected her family and own life. It is a powerful meditation about fractured relationships, human vulnerability and resilience, loneliness and death . . . this unflinching memoir should appeal to those coming to terms with their own grief or mental illness * The Lady * As an artist, Clark is adept at dealing with metaphors and symbolism, and her forays into science and metaphysics feel like natural, unforced extensions of her grief and guilt, clarifying rather than obfuscating the path she has found through this turbulent phase of her life. Readers who have been through similar experiences will find much in this sensitive and articulate memoir which they can identify with and draw solace from * Herald * Samantha Clark writes on the subtle edge of words and thought. She renders the world within and the world of ideas with electric sensitivity and acute intelligence -- Jay Griffiths
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