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Giving up the Ghost: A memoir Hardcover – 5 May 2003
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Giving up the Ghost: A Memoir
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This memoir has a non-linear structure, split into parts rather than chapters that don’t follow any specific structure. This format is unusual for memoirs but works really well.
I’m a huge fan of Mantel’s work but knew very little about her as a person before I read this. I’m glad I did and got to find out more about one of my favourite writers. She’s more flesh and blood now and I can appreciate her as a writer even more.
Part 5, Show Your Workings is my favourite part of the memoir, and in a way the saddest as Mantel pays a high price for a lifetime of medical blunders and assumptions by other people. She also plays a part because certain Catholic beliefs led her to assume it was better to keep her mouth shut. I found this part of the memoir very moving.
As to the quite awfully ignorant medical treatment, this is where her writer's detachment hits many nails on the head. I will not forget her surreal delivery, with a "nurse" as companion, in the taxi as she went seeking her scan!
almost as if she did not write with words but with her body. Openness, ferocity and tenderness make her style unique. Great, great writing.
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