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Writing Home

By (author) Polly Devlin
Foreword by Joan Bakewell
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Pimpernel Press Ltd, London, United Kingdom
Published: 30th May 2019
Dimensions: w 127mm h 211mm d 19mm
Weight: 285g
ISBN-10: 1910258334
ISBN-13: 9781910258330
Barcode No: 9781910258330
In the pieces brought together in Writing Home, Polly Devlin OBE, most bewitching of writers, covers subjects that range over her whole life and thought. She writes about places: about her childhood deep in the countryside of Northern Ireland (where, in the late 1950s, the first electricity poles looked 'literally out of place'); her sudden transition, at the age of twenty-one, to Swinging Sixties London, where she worked for Vogue and became very much part of the scene (although - 'it's like being a provincial at Versailles'), on to New York, back to London, then to the English countryside, and to Paris, Venice, the world over - and always back to Ireland, London and New York. She writes about the people she has known, among them Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Peggy Guggenheim, Diana Vreeland ('as fantastical as a unicorn'), Jean Shrimpton ('she looks as though she sleeps in cathedral pews and sucks artichoke hearts for sustenance'), Princess Margaret (who came to dinner and did the washing up, 'which I gabbled she didn't need to - she looked at me frostily and the royal hands went back into the Fairy Liquid'). And she writes about the issues that have preoccupied her: about emigration, feminism ('I grew up in a society where men were fundamental and women were secondary'), reading, writing, collecting, shopping, houses, dogs, rooks, hares, dreams, friendship and the kindness of strangers; about daughters and mothers; and about wishes . . .

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"...affectionate sketches of friends including Nuala O'Faolain and her brother-in-law Seamus Heaney...ring with truth and tenderness." * Irish Times * "I passionately love this book...the writing and the spirit, the cauldron of lives and language, the moral rigour, the observation...I wish I had published it."

-- Carmen Callil "Eloquent and open-minded, Writing Home stands testimony to a life well-lived. It champions feminism as 'The F Word'. I'd add that it exemplifies the virtues of family and fearlessness." * Country Life * "Whatever sets her going - and whatever her tone, whether angry, rueful, funny, exuberant, joyous or disabused - Polly Devlin's reflections make an impact. She is a champion of right thinking, up to the hilt in crusading commentary, always on the side of the angels." * Dublin Review of Books * "A glorious serendipitous mix of material...She retains a very clear voice that is her own. She's also a fantastic writer. She manages to convey a huge amount with a few well chosen words, so that after reading her book I feel I know her intimately and like her tremendously." * The Chiswick Calendar * "Polly nails with detail and devilment the very essence of an encounter or an issue. After a glimpse into that quicksilver mind whose interior we imagine is as eclectic, cluttered and joyful as the actual interiors she creates, we are the better for it....a treat." * The Gloss * "Required reading for women of 'd'un certain age', read it and smile." * *