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Bella Bathurst is the author of The Lighthouse Stevensons, which won the Somerset Maugham Award, and of the novel Special. Her journalism has appeared in the Washington Post, the London Sunday Times, and other major periodicals. Born in London, she lives in Scotland.
Author photo © Ben Gilbert
Much needed light is shed on the isolating world of the deaf through the author’s own personal journey recounting how she gradually lost her hearing leaving her with rage then hard won acceptance only to find she had a condition that could benefit from the most intricate surgery. As a writer and journalist, she deals with the condition in a way natural to her, investigating and explaining, revealing her own story and those of others, a humbling read that brings home the reality of how lack of hearing can lead to exclusion, the sheer exhaustion of trying to live in a hearing world. ~ Sue Baker May 2017 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.Like for Like ReadingSeeing Voices: A Journey into the World of the Deaf, Oliver SacksTrain Go Sorry: Inside a Deaf World, Leah Hager Cohen, Paperback 296 pages Vintage 1st October 1996 9780679761655
A group of teenage schoolgirls are on a field trip to the Forest of Dean. Vain, spoilt and interested primarily in sex, alcohol and outfits, the girls squabble and smoke, skive and bitch, torment their teachers and betray their friends, and the reader bears witness to the development and disintegration of relationships. So far, so typical. But this world of teenagers is a hall of mirrors, where the everyday can become monstrous, and nothing is quite what you expect. Soon enough something dark and sinister begins to move underneath the surface.
May 2012 Travel Book of the Month. A brilliant, charming, engaging look at the sometimes weird world of the bicycle and bicyclist. The people who ride them (including over water), the people who build them (the revered magicians), in fact a huge cast of colourful characters and stories. A must for any fan of pedal power.
This is the biography of an extraordinary family; a story of high endeavour and remarkable ingenuity, and of men pushed to the limit and beyond.
A group of schoolgirls go off with two teachers on a field trip to the English countryside. They soon discover that the nearby town offers alcohol, drugs, and sex, at once tempting and terrifying. In this illicit, raw new world, isolated from the larger society and its familiar rules and repressions, some become more vulnerable, others more vicious. There are the almost casual daily cruelties the girls inflict on one another, the dangerous fault lines of their friendships, their insecurities and little shames, the awful power of the "e;most popular"e; girl and of the "e;in crowd."e; The sexual and social pressures that can break a girl emotionally and even physically and mark her forever are freshly and chillingly observed. Many readers will be reminded of Lord of the Flies. In Special, too, the shell of civilization is paper-thin, and the looming implosion of a tiny society inspires dread. It is not the unfamiliar countryside but the untried emotional landscape these girls must negotiate that proves difficult and disturbing and leads to a shattering conclusion. This is a spellbinding, haunting novel by a brilliant young writer.
'By the summer of 1998, it had become clear that there was something wrong with my hearing. It didn't happen suddenly but softly, so softly I almost wasn't aware of it happening; sound seemed to have stolen away ...' For twelve years, Bella Bathurst was deaf. She missed the punchlines and the jokes, avoided busy restaurants and raucous parties, and grew her hair long to cover hearing aids. But then, twelve years later, pioneering surgery on her ears gave her the chance to hear again. Sound is the extraordinary story of Bella's journey into deafness and back to hearing. Mixing memoir with interviews with soldiers, sign language experts, musicians and mental health workers, Bella explores what it means to live with and without sound, and in the process uncovers a hidden world of sense and connection. If sight gives us the world, then hearing - or our ability to listen - gives us each other. Warm, wry and honest, this is a story not just for the one in six of us with hearing loss, but for everyone who ever listened. Published in partnership with the Wellcome Collection. Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we think and feel about health. Inspired by the medical objects and curiosities collected by Henry Wellcome, it connects science, medicine, life and art. Wellcome Collection exhibitions, events and books explore a diverse range of subjects, including consciousness, forensic medicine, emotions, sexology, identity and death. Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive, funding over 14,000 researchers and projects in more than 70 countries. wellcomecollection.org
From the bestselling author of `The Lighthouse Stevensons', a gripping history of the drama and danger of wrecking since the 18th-century - and the often grisly ingenuity of British wreckers, scavengers of the sea. A fine wreck has always represented sport, pleasure, treasure, and in many cases, the difference between living well and just getting by. The Cornish were supposedly so ferocious that notices of shipwrecks were given out during morning service by the minister, whilst the congregation concocted elaborate theological justifications for drowning the survivors. Treeless islanders relied on the harvest of storms to furnish themselves with rafters, boat hulls, fence-posts and floors. In other places, false lights were set up with grisly ingenuity along the coast to lure boats to destruction. With romance, insight and dry wit, Bella Bathurst traces the history of wrecking, looting and salvaging in the British Isles since the 18th-century and leading up to the present day. `For a fully laden general cargo to run to ground in an accessible position is more or less like having Selfridges crash-land in your back garden,' she writes. `A Selfridges with the prices removed'. Far from being a black-and-white crime, wrecking is often seen as opaque by its practitioners - the divisions between theft and recovery are small. No successful legal prosecution has ever been brought; the RNLI was founded by wreckers - even today lifeboat crews maintain the right to claim salvage. In settings ranging from the eerily perambulatory Goodwin Sands to the wreck-strewn waters off the coast of Durham, these murky tales of resourcefulness and quick-witted opportunism open a beguiling vista of life at the rough edges of our land and legality.
An exciting new edition of Bella Bathurst's epic story of Robert Louis Stevenson's ancestors and the building of the Scottish coastal lighthouses against impossible odds. 'Whenever I smell salt water, I know that I am not far from one of the works of my ancestors,' wrote Robert Louis Stevenson in 1880. 'When the lights come out at sundown along the shores of Scotland, I am proud to think they burn more brightly for the genius of my father!' Robert Louis Stevenson was the most famous of the Stevensons, but not by any means the most productive. The Lighthouse Stevensons, all four generations of them, built every lighthouse round Scotland, were responsible for a slew of inventions in both construction and optics, and achieved feats of engineering in conditions that would be forbidding even today. The same driven energy which Robert Louis Stevenson put into writing, his ancestors put into lighting the darkness of the seas. The Lighthouse Stevensons is a story of high endeavour, beautifully told; indeed, this is one of the most celebrated works of historical biography in recent memory.
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