A modern classic of enduring love, winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize.
Jackie Kay was born in Edinburgh. She is a poet, novelist and writer of short stories and has enjoyed great acclaim for her work for both adults and children. She has published two collections of stories with Picador: Why Don't You Stop Talking and Wish I Was Here; a memoir, Red Dust Road; and a collection of poems, Fiere. She teaches at Newcastle University, and lives in Manchester.
Recounted in clear, spare, utterly unsentimental prose . . . the
voices in this tender, compassionate work were still singing in my
head a couple of weeks after I'd finished it * Observer *
The book's style works like a jazz riff, a literary improvisation of the central melody of Joss's death * Independent on Sunday *
In an accomplished display of vocal versatility, Kay shifts effortlessly between the voices of Millie, Colman and Sophie Stones, an avaricious journalist who offers to help Colman avenge himself by ghostwriting a bare-all biography . . . the beauty of this book is the way its love, the character and story around which all the others orbit, is kept so intriguingly in the shadows, so fantastically out of view * Literary Review *
Kay's powerful rendition of everyday speech combines perfectly with the themes and construction of her story * Independent on Sunday *
From the angry and disbelieving voice of the son Colman, whose hurt and alienation can only find expression through the cliches of tabloid expose, to Millie's personal elegy for her husband, Jackie Kay's ear for the poetry as well as for the rudeness of everyday speech is as powerful as ever * Times Literary Supplement *
Kay carefully registers the technical difficulties of transgendered life (breast binding, marriage certificates, death certificates) without sensationalizing them, and beautifully evokes both Millie's and Colman's grief. She leaves us with a broad landscape of sweet tolerance and familial love, wondering how it felt to be Joss Moody * New York Times Book Review *
Kay is a writer to respect . . . The qualities of sympathy and tenderness in this novel make it special * Guardian *
A rich, taut and compelling novel by a fine writer. A Picador classic -- Melvyn Bragg * Guardian *
A novel whose humanism, humour and vision demolish anyone's urge to think they've got the right to decide about, categorize or dismiss other human beings -- Ali Smith * New York Times *