A gripping lyrical memoir from poet, model and activist Yrsa Daley-Ward charting her coming of age in a very white northwest England, the absence of her Nigerian father, her Jamaican mother’s string of boyfriends and a burgeoning awareness of her own sexuality. As she leaves home, her story unfolds achingly into experiences of addiction, depression, sex work and self discovery told in a blur of (sometimes experimental) prose and poetry. The overall effect is suspenseful, electric and emotionally nuanced. A must-read!
**WINNER of the 2019 PEN Ackerley Prize**
‘A major literary talent . . . speaks about the power and powerlessness that young women are subject to in a wholly fresh, clear-eyed way . . . you’ll find it hard to come away from The Terrible without a stab of recognition in your chest’ Stylist
‘You may not run away from the thing that you are
because it comes and comes and comes as sure as you breathe.’
This is the story of Yrsa Daley-Ward, and all the things that happened – ‘even the Terrible Things (and God, there were Terrible Things)’. It’s about her childhood in the north-west of England with her beautiful, careworn mother and her little brother who sees things written in the stars.
It’s also about growing up and discovering the power and fear of sexuality, about pitch grey days of pills and powder: going under, losing yourself, and finding your voice.
‘Yrsa’s work is like holding the truth in your hands’ Florence Welch
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