Publication Date: 20/07/2023 ISBN: 9780008414221 Category:

The Green Lady

Sally Bayley

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 20/07/2023 ISBN: 9780008414221 Category:


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From the critically acclaimed author Sally Bayley, The Green Lady is a poignant, brilliant exploration of the relationships between children and their teachers.

In the style of her memoir Girl with Dove, this book explores a child’s search for artistic education and a sense of self. Lyrical and playful, Sally Bayley’s writing transports the reader into an eccentric world of teachers, guardians and guiding spirits of place.

Moved by her female teachers, and guided by the artist J.M.W. Turner, Bayley’s protagonist goes in search of her maternal ancestors, in particular her grandmother, Edna May Turner. Following the narratives of other women in history who have taken different routes to independence and artistic freedom – including the educational suffragist Mary Neal, actress Margaret Rutherford, and poet Stevie Smith – Bayley considers the paths to happiness and the limitations social convention imposes.

Part novel, part memoir, The Green Lady continues the traditions of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando as an imagined biography which urgently understands the need for a space of one’s own in which to thrive. As one of the book’s several foster children, Bayley reminds us that families and homes can be found and built within literature and the arts as well as nature’s green spaces.

Publisher Review

EARLY PRAISE FOR THE GREEN LADY: 'With each new book, Sally Bayley seems to invent a new literary genre. The Green Lady is another bulletin from her unique imagination - a marvel of formal originality and verbal ingenuity. There is no other writer remotely like her' MATT ROWLAND HILL, author of Original Sins 'In a beguiling blend of memoir and storytelling, the author of Girl with Dove and No Boys Play Here explores the relationship between children and their teachers, and the sustaining power of literature, especially for those growing up in poverty or dealing with neglect and abuse. In search of a better plot, Bayley's protagonist seeks out her maternal ancestors, and other women in history who have paved a path to independence, happiness and artistic freedom in a space of one's own. No one writes quite like Bayley-she's a true, precious original' CAROLINE SANDERSON, The Bookseller PRAISE FOR SALLY BAYLEY'S GIRL WITH DOVE 'Nobody writes like Sally Bayley' LEMN SISSAY 'Original and moving... Bayley ' s bright, tight sentences and tender wit create a truly child-like perspective which allows us to understand great pain' KATE CLANCHY 'Dances along the intersections of memoir, family history, literary criticism and autofiction ... Her writing is always fluid, playful, surprising and challenging' ALICE JOLLY 'She writes with deliberately elusive lyricism, like all the best lines in a favourite song' OXFORD REVIEW OF BOOKS

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