To Throw Away Unopened
LONGLISTED FOR THE GORDON BURN PRIZE 2018
'Fierce, direct, unashamed. She masks nothing ... Scythes through the myths, the distortions, the adornments and finds the rich, distinctive stories underneath.' The Sunday Times
'A chronicle of outsiderness ... Searingly honest ... A painstaking and painful dissection of familial fallout.' The Observer
What was I fighting for? Even now I’m not sure. Something so old and so deep, it has no words, no shape, no logic.
Every memoir is a battle between reality and invention - but in her follow up to Clothes, Music, Boys, Viv Albertine has reinvented the genre with her unflinching honesty.
To Throw Away Unopened is a fearless dissection of one woman's obsession with the truth - the truth about family, power, and her identity as a rebel and outsider. It is a gaping wound of a book, both an exercise in blood-letting and psychological archaeology, excavating what lies beneath: the fear, the loneliness, the anger. It is a brutal expose of human dysfunctionality, the impossibility of true intimacy, and the damage wrought upon us by secrets and revelations, siblings and parents.
Yet it is also a testament to how we can rebuild ourselves and come to face the world again. It is a portrait of the love stories that constitute a life, often bringing as much pain as joy. With the inimitable blend of humour, vulnerability, and intelligence that makes Viv Albertine one of our finest authors working today, To Throw Away Unopened smashes through layers of propriety and leads us into a new place of savage self-discovery.