The Terrible: A Storyteller's Memoir (Paperback)

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"Devastating and lyrical." --The New York Times

"Suspenseful and affecting." --The New Yorker

From the celebrated poet behind bone, a lyrical memoir--part prose, part verse--about coming-of-age, uncovering the cruelty and beauty of the wider world, and redemption through self-discovery and the bonds of family

"You may not run away from the thing that you are
because it comes and comes and comes as sure as you breathe."

This is the story of Yrsa Daley-Ward, and all the things that happened--"even the terrible things. And God, there were terrible things." It's about her childhood in the northwest of England with her beautiful, careworn mother Marcia; the man formerly known as Dad (half fun, half frightening); and her little brother Roo, who sees things written in the stars.

It's also about the surreal magic of adolescence, about growing up and discovering the power and fear of sexuality, about pitch-gray days of pills and powder and connection. It's about damage and pain, but also joy. Told with raw intensity and shocking honesty, The Terrible is a memoir of going under, losing yourself, and finding your voice.

About the Author


Yrsa Daley-Ward is a writer and poet of mixed West Indian and West African heritage. Born to a Jamaican mother and a Nigerian father, Yrsa was raised by her devout Seventh Day Adventist grandparents in the small town of Chorley in the North of England. She splits her time between London and New York.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780143132622
ISBN-10: 0143132628
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: June 5th, 2018
Pages: 224
Language: English