Win a Family Weekend Break with Lovereading and VisitWiltshire - click here for details...

Search our site
Once A Pilgrim by James Deegan Read the opening extract of the brand new James Deegan book before its publication on 25/01/2018

The Iceberg A Memoir by Marion Coutts
  

The Iceberg A Memoir

Biography / Autobiography   All Shortlists and Winners   eBook Favourites   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.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

2nd April 2015

Author

Marion Coutts

More books by Marion Coutts
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

Atlantic Books

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

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

ISBN

9781782393528

It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

Lovereading is a wonderful way to expand my literary horizons, discover inspiring authors & get the chance to read new novels first. #loveit

Zarina de Ruiter

Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.

Emily Wright

Lovereading takes the guesswork out of finding your next read with "if you like you'll love" and extracts to help with your decision.

Sarah Bruch

Lovereading tells me about new books before they hit the shelves, lets me find other authors I may like and has great prize draws!

Sheila Dale

Lovereading has given me the opportunity to delve into new and exciting worlds of authors who I would never have tried before.

Glynis Elliott

You can trust Lovereading to show unbiased reviews by actual, ordinary readers that help likeminded booklovers choose their next great read.

Linda Hill

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools