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She Left Me the Gun

Emma Brockes

The astonishing, intensely moving and beautifully told true story of dark family secrets and one woman’s search for the truth.

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Format
Ebook
ISBN
9780571275830
Date Published
18.03.2013
Delivery
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Summary

When Emma Brockes was ten years old, her mother said ‘One day I will tell you the story of my life and you will be amazed.’ Growing up in a tranquil English village, Emma knew very little of her mother’s life before her. She knew Paula had grown up in South Africa and had seven siblings. She had been told stories about deadly snakes and hailstones the size of golf balls. There was mention, once, of a trial. But most of the past was a mystery.

When her mother dies of cancer, Emma – by then a successful journalist at the Guardian – is free to investigate the untold story. Her search begins in the Colindale library but then takes her to South Africa, to the extended family she has never met and their accounts of a childhood so different to her own.She encounters versions of the life her mother chose to leave behind – and realises what a gift her mother gave her.

Part investigation, part travelogue, part elegy, She Left Me the Gun is a gripping, funny and clear-eyed account of a writer’s search for her mother’s story.

EmmaBrockes

Emma Brockes writes for the Guardian and contributes to The New York Times and The New Yorker. She is the winner of two British Press Awards (Young Journalist of the Year and Feature Writer Of the Year) and while at Oxford she won the Philip Geddes Memorial Prize for Journalism. Her last book, She Left Me The Gun, was the…

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