Maggie & Me (Paperback)Damian Barr (author)
- In stock
Sharply observed and intricately written, Damien Barr’s autobiography is both a love song to the power of stories and a frank portrait of growing up gay in Thatcher’s Britain.
It's 12 October 1984. An IRA bomb blows apart the Grand Hotel in Brighton. Miraculously, Margaret Thatcher survives. In small-town Scotland, eight-year-old Damian Barr watches in horror as his mum rips her wedding ring off and packs their bags. He knows he, too, must survive.
Damian, his sister and his Catholic mum move in with her sinister new boyfriend while his Protestant dad shacks up with the glamorous Mary the Canary. Divided by sectarian suspicion, the community is held together by the sprawling Ravenscraig Steelworks. But darkness threatens as Maggie takes hold: she snatches school milk, smashes the unions and makes greed good.
Following Maggie's advice, Damian works hard and plans his escape. He discovers that stories can save your life and - in spite of violence, strikes, AIDS and Clause 28 - manages to fall in love dancing to Madonna in Glasgow's only gay club.
Maggie & Me is a touching and darkly witty memoir about surviving Thatcher's Britain; a story of growing up gay in a straight world and coming out the other side in spite of, and maybe because of, the iron lady.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 180 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'Like all too few memoirs, in a bloated, me-me age, Maggie & Me ends all too soon. Read this at once before someone films it, as they most surely will' - Patrick Gale
'Timely confessional - zestfully observed, sharply written, and sprinkled with more lyricism and humour than a memoir of misery in Motherwell suggests' - Boyd Tonkin, Independent
'A nuanced, subtle and original account ... He holds his nerve tackling the unfashionableness of his thesis - that Thatcher inspired even those she seemed to despise - and makes us smile along the way' - Christena Appleyard, Literary Review
'Full to the brim with poignancy, humour, brutality and energetic and sometimes shimmering prose, the book confounds one's assumptions about those years and drenches the whole era in an emotionally charged comic grandeur. It is hugely affecting' - Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times
'Beyond his Maggie cult, this memoir can boast a humour, bravery and brio that cross all party lines' - Independent
'This memoir of deprivation and survival is shrewdly constructed and written with a winning dry humour' - Adam Mars-Jones, The Guardian
'A brilliant, laugh-out-loud and profoundly moving Eighties memoir' - GQ
'By turns funny, tender, and heartbreaking, it is also a useful primer for anyone too young to remember what life was like in the industrial areas of Britain enduring the changes wrought by Thatcherism... A gifted storyteller, weaving skilfully back and forth through time, and his unfussy prose flows delightfully... Splendid' - Independent on Sunday
'Hugely affecting memoir' - The Sunday Times
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This book gripped me with emotion and humour! I didn't want to put it down. Damian Barr writes with such detail that I believed I was re-living his tormented childhood with him. This is a brilliantly written book... More
“Honest and gripping”
In this beautifully written and deeply personal memoir, Damian Barr recounts his difficult, often disturbing childhood and adolescence. I veered as I read between wanting to somehow scoop up little Damian and keep him... More
“A brilliant and wonderful must-read”
This is a joyous, heartbreaking and hilarious read. Somehow Damian Barr makes his narrative believably child-like at the same time as being piercingly adult. The voices of the characters, including his own at his... More
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