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She's Leaving Home

Joan Bakewell

4 Reviews

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Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

The wonderful second novel from broadcaster Joan Bakewell, author of the critically and commercially successful ALL THE NICE GIRLS, now available in paperback.

Liverpool late 1950s. This is a story of three people: a suppressed mother; a father, projectionist at the local cinema which has seen better days; and their daughter Martha. It is a time of many escapes: Nureyev defects in London; Gagarin escapes the earth's atmosphere to be the first man in space; the Beatles escape the dreariness of Liverpool to seek their fortune in Hamburg. In Britain the drab 50s are giving way to the lively 60s and the young sense it.

With shades of Billy Liar and Absolute Beginners, this novel brilliantly captures that longing for freedom. Sixteen year old Martha is leaving home.

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Praise for She's Leaving Home

  • The author's astute observation underpins her clever, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant evocation of a coming of age. - Sunday Times - Elizabeth Buchan

  • Bakewell is at her best evoking the excitement of the early days of television. Her most effective portraits are those of the Granada Studios. Bakewell vividly evokes the modernity of the building in Manchester, the vibrant atmosphere and the mingling of staff in the canteen... Bakewell's attention to detail is impeccable... [An] affectionate conjuring of an era gone by. - New Statesman - Samira Shackle

  • Plenty of wry humour. Many of Joan Bakewell's observations and anecdotes also convey the distinct impression of personal experience - particularly once timid Martha reaches Liverpool, where she finds herself surprisingly at home among her new bohemian friends, her horizons broadened by such heady delights as poetry readings, CND protests, sex and Earl Grey tea. - Daily Mail - Amber Pearson

  • An accomplished writer of fiction on the evidence of this, her second novel...Bakewell conjures up Liverpool and a dreary nearby town in the early Sixties, sensitively portraying through her characterisation an era on the cusp between post-war privation and Sixties hedonism... Bakewell does capture both the intense self-absorption of the young and the disappointments of middle age in what is a very readable and perceptive novel. - Daily Express - Vanessa Berridge

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Joan Bakewell

Joan Bakewell was born in Stockport in 1933, the daughter of an engineer, granddaughter of working-class artisans. She was the first in her family to go to university and only the second woman from her grammar school to attend Cambridge, where her circle included Frederick Raphael, Peter Hall, Michael Frayn, Mark Boxer and Jonathan Miller. Her long and illustrious career in broadcasting has included being the only woman presenter on BBC TV's Late Night Line Up, being Arts Correspondent for Newsnight, Chair of the BFI, and presenting series such as Heart of the Matter and My Generation.

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