The Life of Stuff Possessions, Obsessions and the Mess We Leave Behind

Paperback (10 Jan 2019)

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Publisher's Synopsis

Shortlisted for the James Tait Black biography prize 2019
'A moving memoir.' Sunday Times
'Gripped me from the first page.' Clover Stroud, author of My Wild and Sleepless Nights
'A gripping read... a riveting piece of writing.' Radio 4
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What do our possessions say about us? Why do we project such meaning onto them? What becomes of the things we leave behind?

Only after her mother's death does Susannah Walker discover how much of a hoarder she had become. Over the following months, Susannah has to sort through a dilapidated house filled to the brim with rubbish and treasures - filling bag after bag with possessions. But what she's really in search of is a woman she'd never really known or understood in life. This is her last chance to piece together her mother's story and make sense of their troubled relationship.

What emerges from the mess of scattered papers, discarded photographs and an extraordinary amount of stuff is the history of a sad and fractured family, haunted by dead children, divorce and alcohol. The Life of Stuff is a deeply personal exploration of mourning and the shoring up of possessions against the losses and griefs of life, which also raises universal questions about what makes us the people we are.
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'Compelling and moving.' Ruth Hogan

'An excellent memoir.' Cathy Rentzenbrink

Book information

ISBN: 9781784163303
Publisher: Transworld
Imprint: Black Swan
Pub date:
DEWEY: 306.8743092
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 370
Weight: 274g
Height: 179mm
Width: 152mm
Spine width: 25mm