Books

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Order in the U.S: Amazon                         Order in the UK: Amazon

Barnes & Noble                                            Waterstones

Indiebound

She Left Me the Gun is quite simply an extraordinary book. In the hands of any halfway decent author, this would be an incredible story: a mother with a mysterious South African past who arrived in England in her early twenties with a beautiful antique handgun and a mission to forget who she used to be. In the hands of a writer as gifted as Emma Brockes, it’s basically the perfect memoir: a riveting, authentic tale elegantly told.‘  —Sunday Telegraph (UK)

“[A] courageous, clear-sighted book, which shifts between memoir and elegy as it examines the persistence of family secrets and the fragile interface between innocence and knowledge …  Brockes handles her toxic material with a lightness of touch that navigates skilfully between tragedy and bleak comedy… [Brockes’s mother] did not need to leave her daughter a gun in the end. Her real bequest to Brockes was the psychological freedom to be able to confront the past without inhibition, and to take straight aim at it. The gun is this book.” —The Guardian (UK)

“An exemplary family history and immensely brave… Brockes’s descriptions of South Africa and her newly discovered family (towards whom she is loyal and generously affectionate) are astute and, one feels, tempered by the tightly coiled wayward nature of the freshly grief-stricken. It makes the slow pace of the revelations all the more honourable and heartfelt. The result is a wise, tender letter of love to a mother and her incredible sense of love and ­necessary self-sufficiency.” –Helen Davies, Sunday Times (UK)

“The riveting memoir about how a prizewinning British journalist reclaimed her mother’s traumatic past… The story of Brockes’ quest to understand her mother’s past is powerful on its own, but the backdrop against which most of the narrative unfolds—a country with its own history of rapacious violence—makes the book even more poignant and unforgettable.
Kirkus

“This astonishing, unsettling book examines the relationship between knowledge and love. Vigorously unsentimental, deeply absorbing, and written with fierce wit, it is an unstinting look at what it means to be innocent, at any stage of life, and how obsessively we all seek and avoid the many faces of truth.” —Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree and The Noonday Demon

 “She Left Me the Gun has everything: one breath-stopping odyssey within another; so many larger-than-life souls; tragedy and escape and astonishing feats of flourishing; not to mention those ‘darkest secrets’ waiting to be uncovered. Brockes grabbed my heart – and, thanks to the grace of her buoyant wit and seriously generous humour, gave it back to me beautifully bruised. This is a story I’ll never forget. (But the truth is, too: Brockes writes so piercingly and with such verve, I’d gladly listen to her telling any story at all.)” —Andrea Ashworth, author of Once In A House On Fire

“A beautiful, wise book. It deals with the some of the grimmest aspects of human experience, but it is also one of the most genuinely up-lifting works I have read in years. Emma Brockes’ superb, clear-eyed narration is an object lesson for any aspiring memoir-writer. She Left Me the Gun deserves to become a classic.” —Zoe Heller, author of The Believers and Notes on a Scandal

“Emma Brockes sets out on a delicate journey to uncover a secret locked in the heart of her own family’s darkness. A harrowing tale of murder and incest emerges, unfolding by stages in this utterly compelling psychological memoir.” —John Berendt, author of The City of Falling Angels and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

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WWBD

Order in the U.S

Order in the U.K

Reviews of What Would Barbra Do? How Musicals Changed My Life:

“Spirited, articulate and utterly devourable … If I could offer [Brockes] any advice, it would be … to write as many books on as many subjects as she can, as fast as is reasonably possible.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Charming and often hilarious … This gift of joy should be read by those who love and hate musicals – this reviewer still hasn’t stopped laughing.”
Library Journal

“Brockes writes with wit and verve … Delightful. Her passion is so contagious that this entertaining musical memoir … might also be capable of creating converts.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“Sharply written and wickedly funny.”
Daily Telegraph

“Entertaining and witty.”
Independent on Sunday

“A warm, funny memoir.”
Mail on Sunday

“An entertaining, heartfelt, light-as-air romp: much like a good musical.”
Sunday Times

One response to “Books”

  1. pah says :

    have just finished “she left me a gun”

    incredible read, great sadness and sorrow for her mother…….

    thank you

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