Hodder & Stoughton
Hodder & Stoughton
With blistering humour reminiscent of Emma Jane Unsworth and the raw vulnerability of I May Destroy You, What a Shame offers a powerful reading experience like no other - a book about female shame that will resonate with any woman who has tackled the beauty and the pain of having to come to terms with herself.
'Absorbing and clever, I fell in love with Mathilda'
'A glorious new talent has arrived'
'Full of heart, wit and feeling'
Caroline O'Donoghue 'Fizzes with energy, rage and love'
'A sterling debut . . . Mathilda's chilling but ultimately redemptive story will stay with me'
Laura Jane Williams
The idea of a curse was divisive, but the assertion that I had, for some time now, been 'laden with something dark' was disconcertingly unanimous.
I wondered if this was something you also saw in me, if that was why you left.
There is something wrong with Mathilda.
She's still reeling from the blow of a gut-punch break up and grieving the death of a loved one.
But that's not it.
She's cried all her tears, mastered her crow pose and thrown out every last reminder of him.
But that's not helping.
Concerned that she isn't moving on, Mathilda's friends push her towards a series of increasingly unorthodox remedies.
Until the seams of herself begin to come undone.
Tender, unflinching and blisteringly funny, What a Shame glitters with rage and heartbreak, and offers up the joy of self-acceptance through an extraordinary rite of passage to overcome the prickly heat of female shame.
'Tender and searingly honest - I couldn't stop reading'
'A painfully exquisite book'
Absorbing and clever, I fell in love with Mathilda
Abigail Bergstrom is a Welsh writer and has written for national magazines and broadsheets, including ELLE, Sunday Times Style, the Telegraph and Refinery29. She has worked in publishing for over a decade and is an industry leader and an expert in navigating the cross section between digital and print, speaking at international conferences on the subject. She's edited some of Britain's most prominent feminist voices, was nominated for Literary Agent of the Year 2020 and was listed in 'The Bookseller 150' for shepherding over thirty titles onto bestseller lists and building some of today's biggest book brands. An intersectional feminist campaigner, she co-founded the campaign 'This Doesn't Mean Yes' which was covered in the media internationally. She lives in London with her boyfriend and her Italian Greyhound, Luca. What a Shame is her debut novel.