In "And When Did You Last See Your Father?", Blake Morrison's mother remains an intriguing but mostly silent figure. One of the many things she never quite told him was that before becoming Kim Morrison she had been Agnes O'Shea. This is her story - and a son's search to uncover the truth.
In his acclaimed and much-loved memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father? Blake Morrison's mother remains a mysterious, shadowy figure. One of the many things that Kim Morrison never told her son was that she was born Agnes O'Shea, one of twenty children in an Irish family; he barely met his Irish relations; till her death he never knew that she was (and remained at heart) a Catholic. This is her startling and heart-wrenching story - and a son's search to uncover the truth about the pretty, reserved and remarkable Kerry girl who qualified as a doctor in Dublin in 1942, worked as an obstetric surgeon in British hospitals throughout the war, and then reinvented herself as a conventional English wife and mother. At the heart of the book is a passionate wartime love affair seen through the frank, funny, furious letters his parents wrote during their stormy courtship. Painfully honest, unusual, a new kind of memoir, Things My Mother Never Told Me paints an unforgettable portrait of a quiet, determined heroine for our times, but also brilliantly evokes a vivid, surprising picture of life and love in WWII, the obstacles they faced, the way rules were broken by even the nicest of girls, the jealousy of one doctor (his father) who was stuck in army camps far from the front treating syphilis and other everyday horrors. And at the same time an extraordinary anatomy of love and marriage. Against her husband's wishes, Kim went on working as a GP and doctor after the war and for the rest of her life - her one rebellion.
Blake Morrison is the author of a bestselling memoir, And When Did You Last See Your Father?, a novel, The Justification of Johann Gutenberg, two collections of poems, a children's book, and a study of the Bulger case, As If. He lives in London.
Things My Mother Never Told Me by Blake Morrison
Used - Very Good
Short-listed for WH Smith Book Awards (Biography & Autobiography) 2003
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