The Three of Us: A Family Story

Front Cover
Random House, Jul 31, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages

Winner of the J. R. Ackerley Award

This is the story of three people: Julia Blackburn, her father Thomas and her mother Rosalie. Thomas was a poet and an alcoholic, who for many years was addicted to barbiturates; Rosalie, a painter, was sociable and flirtatious. After her parents were divorced, Julia's mother took in lodgers, always men, on the understanding that each should become her lover. When one of the lodgers started an affair with Julia, Rosalie was devastated; when he later committed suicide the relationship between mother and daughter was shattered irrevocably.

Or so it seemed until the spring of 1999, when Rosalie, diagnosed with leukaemia, came to live with Julia for the last month of her life.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Opinionated - LibraryThing

A quite remarkable memoir. Julia Blackburn is too be congratulated in making the horror story of her childhood into such a lively, affectionate and even funny memoir with such a lack of self pity ... Read full review

THE THREE OF US: A Family Story

User Review  - Kirkus

British writer Blackburn (My Animals & Other Family, 2007, etc.) recalls an atypical upbringing.Commendably, she manages to find riotous humor in the erratic, often hurtful behavior she endured ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Julia Blackburn has written five books of non-fiction - Charles Waterton, The Emperor's Last Island, Daisy Bates in the Desert, Old Man Goya and With Billie - a family memoir, The Three of Us, which won the 2009 J. R. Ackerley Award, and two novels, The Book of Colour and The Leper's Companions, both of which were shortlisted for the Orange Prize. She is the author of seventeen short stories specially commisioned by BBC Radio, a selection of which were published in My Animals and Other Family, and four radio plays, including The Spellbound Horses, which was broadcast in 2011.

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