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Book Release: Yrsa Daley-Ward's The Terrible

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Release date (UK) by Penguin Random House: June 5, 2018.




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.



Profoundly beautiful...[Daley-Ward] interweaves verse and prose to great effect, offering less a simple retelling of her life, and more of an impression of it, a sense of how it must feel to live it. Much of what Daley-Ward recounts of her childhood is devastating...and she has a unique ability to tell these parts of her life with an unflinching intensity, the kind that sears itself onto your skin; and yet this is not a story without hope or love.

Nylon (Great Books To Read This Summer)


[Yrsa Daley-Ward] makes the emotional brutality of dealing with family, adolescence, addiction, and sexuality accessible to her readers...She continually incorporates gut-wrenching imagery in her work, and in both bone and The Terrible, she packages heightened emotion into just one or two lines.