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The Terrible


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From an explosive new literary talent, a searing, moving memoir of family, adolescence and sexuality.

About the Author

Yrsa Daley-Ward is a writer of Jamaican and Nigerian heritage. Raised in Chorley in the north of England by her mother and grandparents, she is a celebrated poet and storyteller. Her first collection of poetry, bone, was published by Penguin in 2017.


Elegant, daring, profound - confirms her abundant talent as a writer -- Arifa Akbar * Observer *
Beautiful and harrowing . . . Daley-Ward writes with disarming honesty * Vogue *
A major literary talent . . . speaks about the power and powerlessness that young women are subject to in a wholly fresh, clear-eyed way . . . you'll find it hard to come away from The Terrible without a stab of recognition in your chest * Stylist *
Daley-Ward explores the connection between raw emotion and the mechanics of language with more wildness and tenacity than ever * Dazed *
A rare combination of literary brilliance, originality of voice and a narrative that commands you to keep going until you've reached the last page . . . her prose is invigorating, razor-sharp and moves at the speed of light . . . Yrsa Daley-Ward is an explosive new talent and this book should not be missed -- Anna van Praagh * Evening Standard *
The Terrible's raw yet lilting prose draws the reader in at once. Unpredictable shifts in form and structure - from prose to poetry and script - are refreshingly disorientating. This is both a defiant book and a defiantly inventive one. -- Patricia Yaker Ekall * The Times Literary Supplement *
Daley-Ward is a stylish writer, as well as an unusual voice . . . she has a knack for distilling wild emotions into precise imagery, for selecting insightful impressions. -- Francesca Angelini * Sunday Times *
Daley-Ward's beautiful prose wrapped its hands around my neck - I found myself doing stupid things like walking through New York at rush hour with my nose buried in her book. -- Jamal Jordan * The New York Times *
The Terrible is a lyrical piece of writing that oscillates between prose and poetry . . . Daley-Ward's lines land like dandelion spores, these weightless things that are somehow simultaneously profound -- Una Mullally * Irish Times Magazine *
Daley-Ward has cooked a broth of dizzying emotions and touching moments down to a nuanced and taut account . . . there are so many flourishes of imagination and pathos here, that it's impossible not to get caught up in the torrential pace of the narrative . . .the result is one of the year's genuine must reads * Irish Independent *
Daley-Ward combines beautifully crafted and deeply personal verse with impressive prose, bending the form of the memoir into her own genre -- Alexander Holmes * Metro *
Daley-Ward is twenty-nine years old, but the events of her life more than justify the publication of this unflinching chronicle. -- Patricia Yaker Ekall * The Times Literary Supplement *
Daley-Ward is twenty-nine years old, but the events of her life more than justify the publication of this unflinching chronicle. -- Patricia Yaker Ekall * The Times Literary Supplement *

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