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The Iceberg A Memoir by Marion Coutts
  

The Iceberg A Memoir

Biography / Autobiography   All Shortlists and Winners   eBook Favourites   

Sue Baker's view...

Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2014.

Stripped of sentimentality, this is Marion Coutts’ account of her husband being diagnosed with a brain tumour through to his subsequent death. A heartbreaking account of the loss of a partner, her spare style almost poetic, heartbreaking to read, yet somehow Marion Coutts’ account of this tragedy becomes uplifting, a painful account of deep loss but a true celebration of the man she mourns.

Like for Like Reading
Until Further Notice, I am Alive, Tom Lubbock
Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande

Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2014.

The Costa Judges said Coutts' book was “an unflinching, unforgettable memoir written with honesty, an absence of sentimentality and in utterly original language.”

Who is Sue Baker

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. In 2008, Marion Coutts’ husband, art critic Tom Lubbock was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. Located in the part of the brain that controls speech and language, it would eventually cruelly deprive him of the one faculty on which his work depended. At the time, their young son, Ev, was just eighteen months old, and this small, close family unit faced an unimaginable future together. Marion, also a writer and an artist, wrote down her observations, day by day, trying to make sense of it all. She writes exquisitely, in short poetic sentences that perfectly capture moods, feelings, joy, anger – whatever is going on – with disarming honesty. Despite its deep sadness, this is ultimately an uplifting book.
~ The Good Book Guide

Synopsis

The Iceberg A Memoir by Marion Coutts

In 2008 the art critic Tom Lubbock was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The tumour was located in the area controlling speech and language, and would eventually rob him of the ability to speak. He died early in 2011. Marion Coutts was his wife. In short bursts of beautiful, textured prose, Coutts describes the eighteen months leading up to her partner's death. This book is an account of a family unit, man, woman, young child, under assault, and how the three of them fought to keep it intact. Written with extraordinary narrative force and power, The Iceberg is almost shocking in its rawness. It charts the deterioration of Tom's speech even as it records the developing language of his child. Fury, selfishness, grief, indignity and impotence are all examined and brought to light. Yet out of this comes a rare story about belonging, an 'adventure of being and dying'. This book is a celebration of each other, friends, family, art, work, love and language.

Reviews

'An exquisitely expressed portrait of three lives operating in the shadow of catastrophe... This is human trauma, profoundly and beautifully told.' --Independent on Sunday

'Not quite like any other bereavement memoir... it reads like a huge juggernaut, its inevitable awful ending hurtling towards you at full speed from the first page.' --Evening Standard

'Readers should be warned that sharing such a grief as closely as this marvellous book compels one to do is painful... This is a book that clearly had to be written... And certainly it ought to be read by anyone who ever pauses to consider our mortality.' --Diana Athill, Sunday Telegraph

'The writing is lyrical, textured, perfectly paced; the sentences short so that we feel Coutts's moments of panic, her quickened heartbeat... [A] startlingly beautiful and inspiring pioneer text' --Independent

About the Author

Marion Coutts is an artist and writer. She is a Lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College and wrote the introduction to Tom Lubbock's memoir Until Further Notice, I am Alive, published by Granta in 2012. She lives in London with her son.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd April 2015

Author

Marion Coutts

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Publisher

Atlantic Books

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites

Memoirs
Coping with illness & specific conditions
Coping with death & bereavement

ISBN

9781782393528

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