Maggie and Me by Damian Barr

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One memorable chapter begins: "The second time I try to kill a man I'm 14." All of which sounds utterly miserable, but Barr's writing has a lightness of touch and warm humour which makes it easy to root for him.
-Guardian

Synopsis

It's 12 October 1984. An IRA bomb blows apart the Grand Hotel in Brighton. Miraculously, Margaret Thatcher survives. In small-town Scotland, eight-year-old Damian Barr watches in horror as his mum rips her wedding ring off and packs their bags. He knows he, too, must survive.

Damian, his sister and his Catholic mum move in with her sinister new boyfriend while his Protestant dad shacks up with the glamorous Mary the Canary. Divided by sectarian suspicion, the community is held together by the sprawling Ravenscraig Steelworks. But darkness threatens as Maggie takes hold: she snatches school milk, smashes the unions and makes greed good. Following Maggie's advice, Damian works hard and plans his escape. He discovers that stories can save your life and - in spite of violence, strikes, AIDS and Clause 28 - manages to fall in love dancing to Madonna in Glasgow's only gay club.

Maggie & Me is a touching and darkly witty memoir about surviving Thatcher's Britain; a story of growing up gay in a straight world and coming out the other side in spite of, and maybe because of, the iron lady.
 

About Damian Barr

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Damian Barr has been a journalist for over ten years writing mostly for The Times but also the Independent, Telegraph, Financial Times, Guardian, Evening Standard and Granta. He is the author of Get It Together: A Guide to Surviving Your Quarterlife Crisis, featured on Richard & Judy, and has co-written two plays for BBC Radio 4. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Faculty at the School of Life and host of the infamous Literary Salon at Shoreditch House. Damian Barr was named Writer of the Year at the 2013 Stonewall Awards. He lives in Brighton. @Damian_Barr
 
Published April 18, 2013 by Bloomsbury Publishing. 257 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Gay & Lesbian. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Maggie and Me
All: 3 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 2

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Ben East on Apr 20 2014

One memorable chapter begins: "The second time I try to kill a man I'm 14." All of which sounds utterly miserable, but Barr's writing has a lightness of touch and warm humour which makes it easy to root for him.

Read Full Review of Maggie and Me | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Deborah Orr on May 03 2013

The gap-filling is cool...finding out completely fresh stuff about a place you thought you knew so well.

Read Full Review of Maggie and Me | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Adam Mars-Jones on Apr 25 2013

It's a shame that this admirable reluctance to blame the victim doesn't survive to the end of the book, and the brassy finale it would be better without.

Read Full Review of Maggie and Me | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for Maggie and Me
95%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 21 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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