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After gaining an M.Phil in Writing from Glamorgan University, Ruth Joseph was approached by Accent Press, to publish Red Stilettos. It includes â€˜Patchworkâ€™ â€“ a Rhys Davies prize winner and â€˜Stealing Babyâ€™ which won the Lichfield Short Story Prize. Other work has been published in New Welsh Review, Parthian, Honno, Loki, Cambrensis, and The Western Mail Magazine. Her memoir Remembering Judith which chronicles her life as a child-carer to an anorexic mother has been published by Accent Press and was featured in the Guardian She lives in Cardiff and adores her husband Mervyn, family and rescue-Labrador Bobbi.
This is a tragic story about the authorâ€™s upbringing in the 1950â€™s; an only child of Jewish refugees who had escaped from Nazi Germany to England. For virtually all of her childhood, Ruth Josephâ€™s mother had anorexia and with her father always â€˜away on businessâ€™ she became the sole carer to her mother, Judith, whose illness spiralled ever downwards until her untimely death aged 46. It is a harrowing read; as Judith starves and withers away, she forces her daughter Ruth to eat, who is then herself, filled with self-loathing for her own bloated body. The relationship between mother and daughter is intense and it is heart-rending to see that despite all the love that existed between them, there was so much unhappiness, pain and deception. It is a relief to the reader that Ruth finally escapes the claustrophobia of this terrible family situation and moves on but the anguish of her choices is only too apparent. Very moving.
This sensational collection of quality short stories is perfect for the mainstream fiction market. The writing style is deft and stylish but accessible on many levels making it attractive to those buying for book groups and readers who enjoy quality short fiction. Ruth Joseph lives in Cardiff, Wales where she is part of the strong Jewish community. She has a strong, evovative voice which speaks directly to the reader about guilt, love and food. Her work has previously been published by Honno, Parthian and Loki.
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