The Life of Stuff: Possessions, obsessions and the mess we leave behind (Paperback)
  • The Life of Stuff: Possessions, obsessions and the mess we leave behind (Paperback)
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The Life of Stuff: Possessions, obsessions and the mess we leave behind (Paperback)

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Paperback 384 Pages / Published: 10/01/2019
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Shortlisted for the James Tait Black biograpy prize 2019

'This extraordinary, beautiful memoir gripped me from the first page.' Clover Stroud, author of The Wild Other

What do our possessions say about us? Why do we project such meaning onto them?

Only after her mother's death does Susannah Walker discover how much of a hoarder she had become. Over the following months, she has to sort through a dilapidated house filled to the brim with rubbish and treasures, in search of a woman she'd never really known or understood in life. This is her last chance to piece together her mother's story and make sense of their troubled relationship. What emerges from the mess of scattered papers, discarded photographs and an extraordinary amount of stuff is the history of a sad and fractured family, haunted by dead children, divorce and alcohol.

The Life of Stuff is a deeply personal exploration of mourning and the shoring up of possessions against the losses and griefs of life, which also raises universal questions about what makes us the people we are.

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9781784163303
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 262 g
Dimensions: 198 x 127 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
I found Susannah's book absolutely fascinating. She writes with admirable honesty and the result is a compelling and moving account of her mother's life and relationships as told by the apocalyptic accumulation of "stuff" she left behind. Susannah's book is not only a brave testament to an imperfect but precious relationship, but also a reflection on the similarities, however uncomfortable, between mother and daughter. It is a book I know I shall read again. * Ruth Hogan, author of THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS *
A gripping read... a riveting piece of writing * Saturday Review, BBC Radio 4 *
An excellent memoir... I finished this book in awe of the sheer interest to be had reading about ordinary people and their lives, but perhaps the point is that no life is ordinary; there is always treasure hidden in the rubbish if we look for it. -- Cathy Rentzenbrink * The Times *
A moving memoir. * Sunday Times *
Beautifully written ... a powerfully evocative description of [Walker's] interest in the meaning of things. * Charles Saumerz Smith, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy *

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“The Life of Stuff”

A moving and beautifully written memoir about the authors mother, their relationship and her hoarding. Susannah Walker examines her mother's life and tries to understand her choices, while looking at the role our... More

Hardback edition
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