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Everyday Madness

On Grief, Anger, Loss and Love
Narrated by: Lisa Appignanesi
Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Summary

‘The small translucent bottle of shampoo outlived him. It was the kind you take home from hotels in distant places. For over a year it had sat on the shower shelf where he had left it. I looked at it every day.’

After the death of her partner of 32 years, Lisa Appignanesi was thrust into a state striated by rage and superstition in which sanity felt elusive. The dead of prior generations loomed large and haunting. Then, too, the cultural and political moment seemed to collude with her condition: everywhere people were dislocated and angry.

In this electrifying and brave examination of an ordinary enough death and its aftermath, Appignanesi uses all her evocative and analytic powers to scrutinize her own and our society’s experience of grieving, the effects of loss and the potent, mythical space it occupies in our lives.

With searing honesty, lashed by humour, she navigates us onto the terrain of childhood, the way it forms our feelings of love and hate, and steers us towards a less tumultuous version of the everyday.

This book may be short, but life, death, madness, love and grandchildren are all there - seen through the eyes of a writer who is ever aware of the historical and current vagaries of woman’s condition.

©2018 Lisa Appignanesi (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"Appignanesi luminously conveys the wayward emotions that make bereavement a language that is hard to understand, yet speaks to us every day when we experience a great loss. You will find all of life in this rewarding, scholarly and entertaining conversation about freedom, Freud, fury, enduring love, and how mythic and modern families haunt each other." (Deborah Levy)

"Keen-eyed, unflinching in her honesty, Lisa Appignanesi carries us down into the depths through an inner landscape of unappeasable turmoil, as she moves towards knowledge of love and the serenity it brings. With piercing insight and many moments of intense poignancy, she illuminates the complexity and costs of a remarkable and passionate journey." (Marina Warner) 

"Wonderful, moving, extraordinary. It is sui generis. I feel enormously privileged to have read it - twice. Its structure is remarkable - an enacting of the last two years. Bravo bravo." (Edmund de Waal) 

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