In My Own Time: Almost an Autobiography
Nina Bawden, one of the most accomplished contemporary novelists, is admired as a writer who unravels the complex emotions that simmer beneath respectable family life. Her first book appeared in 1953. Since then, she has published a further nineteen adult novels, including Circles of Deceit, shortlisted for the 1987 Booker Prize and later a BBC film, and the acclaimed Family Money (1991). She is also a successful children's author: her bestselling and televised novel Carrie's War (1973) has become a contemporary classic; most recently she has published The Real Plato Jones (1994). Now Nina Bawden turns an acute eye to her own story. She weaves a rich tapestry of the past, its characters and the 'myths, half-truths, fancies and deceits' that make up family history. She tells of her childhood evacuation to Suffolk and Wales during the War where, billeted with seven different families, she discovered their own dusty skeletons, and of her years at Oxford, where she knew Richard Burton and Margaret Thatcher. She writes, too, in what becomes a tribute to them both, a courageous account of her oldest son, Niki, who was diagnosed as a schizophrenic. With colourful, resonant prose that finely balances laughter and pain, In My Own Time is a triumph from a consummate storyteller.
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