Our BookTalk schedule for 2018 will begin with The Facts of Life, a graphic novel and memoir by Bristol artist and writer, Paula Knight, which “thoughtfully challenges the societal notion that to live a life without children is to live a lesser life” (Aminatta Forna, writer).
Current Cardiff PhD student and BookTalk disciple, Rob Lloyd, reviews our November event with Cathy Rentzenbrink in conversation with Jenny Kitzinger.
A review from Siriol McAvoy of our last BookTalk event about David Jones’ In Parenthesis, which took place on 11th October 2016, to whet some appetites on the eve of our next event.
After three weeks in Killingbeck, Matty came home with a tube coming out of his side and a bag to collect the pus from his lung. The homecoming was subdued. Every other time he’d come close to death and then survived we’d treated it as a triumph. This was the first time I caught myself wondering if it might have been better if he’d died.— Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Last Act of Love (2015), p. 100.
Everything apart from being with Matty seemed irrelevant. I’d always kept diaries and notebooks, but now I wrote nothing. My words had gone AWOL. I couldn’t bear to read the pointless, silly rubbish the old me had written so I tied all my diaries up in two carrier bags and chucked them into the skip at the back of the pub.— Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Last Act of Love (2015), p. 52.
Misunderstanding abounded. Because we always talked positively and hopefully about Matty, people tended to think he was doing better than he was and were then shocked if they visited him to find that his gaze was either vacant or his eyes looked over to the right, that his skin was deteriorating and that he had spots and blackheads for the first time in his life.— Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Last Act of Love (2015), p. 49.