Bad Blood: A Memoir

A memoir hovers over the pre-occupations of its author in contrast to an autobiography which attempts something more structured and comprehensive. Lorna Sage’s pre-occupation here is the thought that children carry, like an imprinted curse, the full range of the joy and angst of their forebears.

 Rather than develop from a freshly minted individual Sage had a sense of living out the unresolved, inherited tensions of her family. The setting is a vicarage in the small town of Hanmer, on the border between Wales and Shropshire.

 The period detail from the 40s to the early 60s is richly evocative whilst the compelling figure is Sage’ grandfather who is the local vicar. Kicking against the loveless drudgery of his life Grandpa indulges himself in lust and drink.

 As for Lorna – she is pregnant by the age of 16. How did she get from here to being Professor of English Literature at the University of East Anglia? Read to find out from this beautifully elegiac account. This book won the Whitbread Biography Award in 2001.


ISBN 978-0007659050

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