To Throw Away Unopened Hardcover – 5 Apr 2018
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I loved Viv Albertine's new book. There's such raw honesty and compelling intensity in her work. This is the true story of mothers and daughters: love, rage and absolutely no sentimentality. And about, too, being a woman in the world. (Nigella Lawson)
Genuinely startling ... There are multiple books wriggling inside its cover: a family history, a meditation on grief, tracts on female beauty and on anger ... Albertine's writing is not indulgently cathartic but fierce, direct, unashamed. She masks nothing. The result is a book that does for the family memoir what is predecessor did for the rock autobiography: scythes through the myths, the distortions, the adornments and finds the rich, distinctive stories underneath. (Victoria Segal Sunday Times)
A chronicle of outsiderness ... Driven by a relentless honesty about herself and the dysfunctional family dynamic she was born into, which she lays bare with an almost forensic eye ... Her conversational style of writing is lullingly deceptive, allowing the revelations, when they come, to explode like well-placed time bombs in the narrative ... Searingly honest ... A painstaking - and painful - dissection of her own familial fallout ... Viscerally unsettling. (Sean O'Hagan The Observer)
A brave and uncompromising work, a tale of discontent and destructive behaviour across the generations that brims with sadness and wisdom. (Independent)
Incandescent ... Equal parts Nora Ephron and SCUM Manifesto ... On the page Albertine is wry and vibrant, and seems to hold nothing back. (The New York Times)
The tension explodes in one, horrifying climax - a bloody skirmish at her mother's deathbed. It is almost unbearable reading. But it also highlights her skill as a chronicler of the experience of modern adulthood ... Albertine breaks more new ground [...] and emerges from grief into something like clarity, though her tendency for brutal self-reflection remains intact. All the rigour and rage of her punk heritage make this utterly compelling writing. No sentimental tropes, no bittersweet reconciliations - but perhaps some kind of future. (Financial Times)
Albertine grapples with the inherent contradictions of love and loyalty. Her eye-watering honesty, about everything from sex and shitting to the people who make and unmake us, is the engine of this book. It's a declaration of both love and war ... Past traumas drop deep anchors, abutting the present-day reality of a life, but Albertine has made compelling art out of what lies beneath, and is heading for a new horizon. (Sinéad Gleeson Irish Times)
The strength of her voice carries the reader through ... [Her family] are fractured, uncompromising and unmediated. The same might be said of this book ... [which] is emphatically true to her nature, above all in how it finds its own form. (Lavinia Greenlaw New Statesman)
Unflinching, frank, detailed, funny, disarming, deadpan yet passionate. When you read this, her second memoir, it feels slightly as if someone has grabbed you by the coat lapels and insisted that you listen to what happened to them on the bus; you may be cautious at first, but it turns out to be completely gripping, involving not only the bus but the passengers and how she feels about them and herself, complete with tirades about society and convention, asides about past boyfriends, the nature of male and female roles and expectations, anger, revenge, violence, manipulation, families, history. You can't tear yourself away. (TLS)
To Throw Away Unopened finds Albertine drilling deep into the myths that she had been sold by her own family, [her] prose is blunt-cut, but her thoughts are nuanced. Each emotional outburst is unpicked with exhilarating precision.(5***** Daily Telegraph)
Brave, intimate, and confessional, this is the long-awaited follow-up to the bestselling memoir Clothes Music Boys by Viv Albertine, a 'visionary cultural force' (Chris Kraus).See all Product description
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I bought her first book (CCCMMMBBB) mainly for the punk rock war stories but it was the second, more confessional, second half that completely poleaxed me.
This is more in that vein. Brilliant, fearless, and hard to put down.
I did laugh at an innapropriate moment when Viv said her daughter was between them
hopping from one foot to the other with her arms out like a netball player defending the goal. Brilliant.
I think this real life style is the way writing seems to be going at the moment with also Karl Ove Knaussguard's
autobiographical books. Brave authors to write the truth but whats the point if you dont.
I like way the book is structured and while not a unique device the way contemporary events are hung around the past is very well done and you never lose the thread. It reads very well and I probably ‘enjoyed’ it more than the first book which was also very good.
I am a similar age played in bands and have similar cultural reference points but would also hope my daughter would get something from this book and will be recommending it to her and others.