Paper Cuts

Paperback (05 Sep 2019)

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Publisher's Synopsis

A dazzlingly original memoir, Paper Cuts takes us inside the mind of a young Oxford academic devastated by severe mental illness.

'I have a small line of red dots on the back of my left hand, where the needle goes in. I have had hundreds of ketamine injections, more than anyone else, perhaps. The needle goes in, and the truth comes out. Sometimes I am a child again. Sometimes I have the innocence of a child, but I am not innocent. I know too much. I have known too much.'

With Paper Cuts, Stephen Bernard boldly lives through the trauma of childhood abuse and mental illness. He writes to escape and confront, to accuse and explain.

Each morning when he wakes, Stephen Bernard must reconstruct his self: every night he writes himself a letter to be read the next day. The fractured, intensely personal narrative of Paper Cuts follows a single day in his life as he navigates a course through the effects of mania, medication and memories.

'Beautifully written… Brilliant'
Henry Marsh

'Distinguished and desolating… The saving grace is the writer's undaunted eye for the beauty of the world'
Hilary Mantel

'Chilling, riveting, extraordinary, wonderful'
Roddy Doyle

'It is an extraordinary book in its unblinking truthfulness' Hannah Jane Parkinson, Observer

About the Publisher



Vintage is a highly respected paperback publisher of contemporary fiction and non-fiction, publishing writers like Philip Roth, Martin Amis and Toni Morrison. There are many Booker and Nobel Prize-winning authors on the Vintage list such as Kingsley Amis, A S Byatt, J M Coetzee, Ismail Kadare, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Anne Enright, Iris Murdoch, Roddy Doyle and Ben Okri, to name a few.

Book information

ISBN: 9781784707040
Publisher: Random House
Imprint: Vintage
Pub date:
DEWEY: 378.12092
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: xi, 201
Weight: 184g
Height: 129mm
Width: 196mm
Spine width: 15mm