‘A book at once bold, magnanimous, heart-breaking and riveting’ HOWARD JACOBSON
‘Beautiful. Affecting. Erudite.’ SUSIE ORBACH
TWO SISTERS publishes on the 30th anniversary of Blake Morrison’s ground-breaking book And When Did You Last See Your Father? which forged the way for a new genre of confessional memoir.
‘She’s gone, that’s all, and though there’s no retrieving her I’d like to make sense of who she was and what she became. It wasn’t just that she changed over time. She could change from day to day. Drink made it worse but the origins went deeper. You never knew which you’d get, the kind and loving Gill or her doppelgänger. Two sisters.’
Blake Morrison has lost a sister and a half-sister in recent years. Both are the subjects of this remarkable and heart-breaking memoir, along with a forensic examination of sibling relationships in history and literature.
Blake’s sister Gill struggled with alcoholism for a large part of her life, and her shocking death is the starting point for Two Sisters. Blake returns to their childhood to search for the origins of her later difficulties, and in doing so unearths the story behind his half-sister, Josie.
As he unravels these narratives, Blake deals movingly in the guilt and shame that will be familiar to every person who has struggled with addiction in their family. He is unflinching in doing so, and the result is a book which provides testament to that common struggle, as well as acknowledging the complex, hidden forces on which all our lives are based.
Two Sisters is the extraordinary new memoir from the chronicler of human frailty, Blake Morrison.
Poems from Skin and Blister are featured by kind permission of Mariscat Press.
About the author
Blake Morrison is a poet, novelist and journalist. His non-fiction books include And When Did You Last See Your Father? (1993), which won the J. R. Ackerley Prize and the Esquire/Volvo/Waterstone's Non-Fiction Book Award, As If (1997), about the murder of the toddler James Bulger in Liverpool in 1993, and a memoir of his mother, Things My Mother Never Told Me (2002). His poetry includes the collections Dark Glasses (1984), winner of a Somerset Maugham Award, and Shingle Street (2015) He is a regular literary critic for the Guardian and the London Review of Books.