Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Maggie and Me

Ooh this sounds interesting!

Smethwick Library is excited to announce that they will be welcoming journalist and acclaimed writer Damian Barr tomorrow (20th June) afternoon between 4-5pm.

Damian will be discussing his latest book ‘Maggie and Me’ which tells of his experiences of growing up during the Thatcher years.

It’s 12 October 1984. An IRA bomb blows apart the Grand Hotel in Brighton. Miraculously, Maggie Thatcher survives. In small-town Scotland, eight-year-old Damian Barr watches in horror as his mum rips her wedding ring off and packs their bags. He knows he, too, must survive. Damian, his sister and his Catholic mum move in with her sinister new boyfriend while his Protestant dad shacks up with the glamorous Mary the Canary. In a community riven with sectarian divisions, the one point of unity is the sprawling Ravenscraig Steelworks. But this is threatened as Maggie consolidates her grip on the country, smashing unions and closing heavy industry. Following Maggie's advice, Damian works hard and plans his escape. He discovers that stories can save your life and – in spite of violence, strikes, AIDS and Clause 28 – manages to fall in love dancing to Madonna in Glasgow's only gay club.

'Maggie and Me' is a touching and darkly witty memoir about surviving and thriving in Thatcher's Britain; a story of growing up gay in a straight world and coming out the other side in spite of, and maybe because of, the Iron Lady.

Damian Barr has been a journalist for over ten years writing mostly for The Times but also the Independent, Telegraph, Financial Times, Guardian, Evening Standard and Granta. He is the author of Get It Together: A Guide to Surviving Your Quarterlife Crisis, featured on Richard & Judy, and has co-written two plays for BBC Radio 4. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Faculty at the School of Life and host of the Shoreditch House Literary Salon.

‘This amazing book tells the story of an appalling childhood with truth and clarity unsmudged by self-pity. It grips from beginning to end and leaves the reader elated at the fact that such experiences can be overcome and produce a man who can write a book so vivid, so unsentimentally forgiving, and so memorable’ Diana Athill

For more details about this FREE book launch event (yes…...FREE!) you can contact the library on 0121 558 0497 or email

Smethwick Library, High Street, Smethwick, B661AA. 2 hours parking is available close to the library.

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