My Autobiography of Carson McCullers

Jenn Shapland author


Publisher:Little, Brown Book Group

Published:7th Apr '22


Available to order, but very limited on stock - if we have issues obtaining a copy, we will let you know.

My Autobiography of Carson McCullers cover


'Fascinating and intimate' OBSERVER

'Lucid, distilled, honest' MAGGIE NELSON

'Gorgeous, symphonic, tender' CARMEN MARIA MACHADO

How do you tell the real story of someone misremembered - an icon and idol - alongside your own?

Jenn Shapland's celebrated debut is both question and answer: an immersive, surprising exploration of one of America's most beloved writers, alongside a genre-defying examination of identity, queerness, memory and love. Interweaving her own story with McCullers', Shapland shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are.

'A moving record of love at the margins' NEW YORKER

'A call to arms to reappraise past lives' THE TIMES

Weaves together biography and memoir . . . Shards of the author's own life glitter amid the story of McCullers's triumphs and struggles . . . A lively cast of walk-on characters includes Tennessee Williams, Elizabeth Bowen, Edith Sitwell and Robert Lowell . . . But it is Shapland's identification with her subject that energises the book . . . Only an accomplished writer could marshal this tricky material in order to enmesh two stories. The reader sees McCullers afresh in these pages . . . The politics of female queerness are central to this book, and Shapland handles the subject adroidy. At the same time, this volume, which I admire and recommend without reservation, speaks clearly and universally of the human heart, and specifically of the human heart in conflict with itself -- Sara Wheeler * Literary Review *
The truth about Carson McCullers, the great American gothic writer, is finally told . . . What makes this such an unusual work, far removed from conventional biography, is that it's as much Shapland's story as it is McCullers's. In the process of recasting McCullers, Shapland finds her own identity . . . My Autobiography of Carson McCullers is the result: impeccably young, modern and fresh, an assertion of lesbian liberation. Political and at times polemical, it's a call to arms to reappraise past lives . . . beautifully and sparsely written -- Melanie Reid * The Times (Ireland) *
A very interesting and innovative work * Irish Times *
The kind of state-of-the-form reckoning that makes one wish there were more like it * New York Times Book Review *
Weird and un-categorisable (in a good way) * Guardian (Nonfiction to look out for in 2021) *
Intelligent and invigorating . . . it is sharp-eyed and sensitive about biography as a form, and it is a vital piece of life-writing in its own right * New Statesman *
A fascinating and intimate examination of the work of archives, research and historic preservation as well as the arc of identity and social construction . . . [an] idiosyncratic and entirely winning book * Observer *
A moving record of love at the margins * New Yorker *
In lucid, distilled, honest prose, Jenn Shapland teaches us about McCullers, the desire for recognition, loneliness, the complexities of queer history, the seductions and resistances of the archive and, all throughout, love -- Maggie Nelson

ISBN: 9780349015682

Dimensions: 196mm x 126mm x 28mm

Weight: 228g

288 pages