Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life (Paperback)
  • Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life (Paperback)
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Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life (Paperback)

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£9.99 £8.49
Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 02/06/2022
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Waterstones Says

Following on from his poignant and gripping Not My Father's Son, actor Alan Cumming reflects on the durability of trauma and constructive ways to live with your past in this honest and life-affirming memoir.

There is absolutely no logical reason why I am here. The life trajectory my nationality and class and circumstances portended for me was not even remotely close to the one I now navigate. But logic is a science and living is an art.

The release I felt in writing my first memoir, Not My Father's Son, was matched only by how my speaking out empowered so many to engage with their own trauma. I was reminded of the power of my words and the absolute duty of authenticity.

But. No one ever fully recovers from their past. There is no cure for it. You just learn to manage and prioritise it. I believe the second you feel you have triumphed or overcome something - an abuse, an injury to the body or the mind, an addiction, a character flaw, a habit, a person - you have merely decided to stop being vigilant and embraced denial as your modus operandi. And that is what this book is about, and for: to remind you not to buy in to the Hollywood ending.

Ironically maybe, much of Baggage chronicles my life in Hollywood and how, since I recovered from a nervous breakdown at 28, work has repeatedly whisked me away from personal calamities to sets and stages around the world. It is also about marriage(s): starting with the break-up of my first (to a woman) and ending with the ascension to my second (to a man) with many kissed toads in between! But in everything, each failed relationship or encounter with a legend (Liza! X Men! Gore Vidal! Kubrick! Spice Girls!), in every bad decision or moment of sensual joy I have endeavored to show what I have learned and how I've become who I am today: a happy, flawed, vulnerable, fearless middle-aged man, with a lot of baggage.

Publisher: Canongate Books
ISBN: 9781838856670
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 195 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 18 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS

Praise for Not My Father's Son:

'Equal parts memoir, whodunnit and manual for living, Not My Father's Son is a beautifully written, honest look at the forces of blood and bone that make us what we are, and how we make ourselves. I was completely sucked in.' - Neil Gaiman

'Powerful . . . the result is both heart-breaking and brave . . . A thoroughly gripping read, one that keeps its biggest revelation until the very end.' - Sunday Times

'What a shattering, compelling and extraordinary story Alan Cumming has to tell. And he does so with such style and grace . . . Beautifully and cunningly structured, Not My Father's Son is one of the most memorable, heart-stopping autobiographies I have ever read.' - Stephen Fry

'A poignant chronicle of damage sustained in youth and his recovery.' - The Observer

'Cumming's bravery is breathtaking . . . this is a brave book, airing fundamental agonies of the human condition with as light a touch as is possibly possible.' - Sunday Express

'In beautiful, honest, arresting prose, he offers a tale you'll never forget. A real diamond of a book.' - Andrew O'Hagan

'Incredibly affecting.' - Damian Barr, The Herald, Books of the Year

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