This is All by Aidan Chambers
The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn

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Subtitled The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn this is the story of Cordelia from the time she is 15 until she is 20. She is pregnant and plans to give this account to her daughter on her 16th birthday so that they can share their youth together. She chooses the old and famous Japanese book, 'The Pillow Book' by Sei Shonagon, as a model in order to include all kinds of things she has already written as well as the episodes and thoughts she has now as she compiles her book.

She tells of her mother (who died when Cordelia was 5) of her father and her aunt Doris (who marry when she is 16), of her love for William Blacklin, the boy with whom she chooses to have her first sex - and with whom she falls deeply in love. She writes about Julie Martin her teacher who helps her spiritually, describes her love affair with an older married man and her terrifying sexual experience with an unbalanced young man who is obsessed with her. The book includes thoughts on being a women, on poetry, music, reading and writing, on being pregnant and finally of her marriage to William.

This Is All is an anthology, written in six 'books' of Cordelia's adolescent life, by turns funny, poignant, sad, exciting, fascinating ironic and truthful about topics that parents often do not tell their children. It is a richly entertaining and challenging read.


About Aidan Chambers

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Aidan Chambers lives in Gloucestershire with his American wife, Nancy, who is the editor of Signal magazine. He divides his time between his own writing and lecturing which he does extensively in Australia, the USA and Europe. His provocative and challenging novels for teenagers and young adults have won him international acclaim. Postcards from No-man's Land is the fifth novel in what he perceives as a sequence; this starts with Breaktime, continues with Dance on my Grave, and carries on through Now I Know to The Toll Bridge. This Is All is the sixth and final book in the sequence. Each novel stands on its own exploring a different aspect of contemporary adolescence.
Published October 1, 2006 by Harry N. Abrams. 816 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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While waiting for her baby to arrive, 19-year-old Cordelia Kenn constructs a pillow book, a collection of writings on various topics, "a portrait of myself as a teenager." She hopes that wh

Dec 11 2006 | Read Full Review of This is All: The Pillow Book ...

Publishers Weekly

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After a brief introduction, Cordelia begins recounting her experiences from three months before her 16th birthday, when she selects 18-year-old William Blacklin as her first boyfriend for "all-out, all-in-all, all-the-way-sex," prompted by a magazine article stating that "the average age when gir...

Dec 11 2006 | Read Full Review of This is All: The Pillow Book ...

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