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Break These Chains


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About the Author

Kirsteen Stewart was born in 1941, child of a ruined castle in the Highlands, which was sold after the assassination of her father in Sarawak in 1949, during the ceremonies to welcome him as the new Governor. She returns regularly to Argyll. She got a first in History at St Hilda's College, Oxford, and joined the civil service via the competitive entrance exam in the early 60s - the period described in her novel. During her first marriage to a diplomat she Iived in Tito's Yugoslavia, in Jordan during the 1973 Palestinian/Israeli war, in Iraq until thrown out by Saddam Hussein and in the world of sheikhs and sheikhas in Abu Dhabi. Back in London, married a second time, she has spent 20 years working on social innovation projects in the East End, at organisations supporting refugees and asylum seekers, and on a project in Bosnia using arts for post-conflict reconciliation; she travels there regularly. Break These Chains is her first novel.


'Kirsteen Stewart plays adroitly with familiar and darker themes, as her heroine leaves the Scottish borders for swinging London to negotiate the delights and pitfalls of sexual liberation and social change. Lydia's adventures will ring many bells with those who were there, and enlighten those who were not.' -- Anne Chisholm, biographer and reviewer; 'A great read. Compelling, vivid and full of twists. Kirsteen Stewart has captured the explosive emancipation of different classes and genders.' -- Anthony Barnett, journalist and founder of Open Democracy 'Sparkling, funny and wise, Kirsteen Stewart's debut is more than worth the wait.' -- Rachel Johnson, journalist, presenter & author

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