Born on D-Day, Shena Mackay's life began with euphoria - had the nurses had their way, her name would have been Deeday. In this funny, celebratory and heart-felt memoir, she takes specific dates (not always one of national or international importance) and explores its significance to her. We share her experience of watching the Coronation on a tiny screen in the darkened room of a village vicarage, listen in on the phone call with her daughter in New York when the second plane went into the Twin Towers, and drink whisky from bone china cups and saucers in David Hockney's studio in Rachman's Notting Hill. The memoir is packed with significant - and surreal - milestones, from her life in Earls Court and Soho in the early sixties to more recent events, leaving a beautiful exhibition by a Sussex artist at the Towner gallery, to find Eastbourne pier was in flames. Shena Mackay's memoir is a beautiful and delicate impression of a lifetime, and a joy to read.
Shena Mackay was born in Edinburgh in 1944. Her writing career began when she won a prize for a poem written when she was fourteen. Two novellas, Dust Falls on Eugene Schlumberger and Toddler on the Run were published before she was twenty. Redhill Rococo won the 1987 Fawcett Prize, Dunedin won a 1994 Scottish Arts Council Book Award, The Orchard on Fire was shortlisted for the 1996 Booker Prize and, in 2003, Heligoland was shortlisted for both the Orange Prize and Whitbread Novel Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and lives in Southampton.