Have You Been Good?: A Memoir

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9781783780761: Have You Been Good?: A Memoir
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The granddaughter of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, Vanessa Nicolson was born to an illustrious name and an unhappy marriage. In this brutally frank, bittersweet memoir, she chronicles her reckless childhood and disjointed youth, summer holidays at Sissinghurst Castle, and life at a liberal boarding school. Interlinked with her story is that of her daughter Rosa, who died at the age of 19. The result is a powerful meditation on love and loss, cultural privilege and emotional deprivation.

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About the Author:

VANESSA NICOLSON was brought up in London and Florence and has worked as an art historian and journalist. Her publications include The Sculpture of Maurice Lambert (Lund Humphries / Ashgate, 2002), commissioned by the Henry Moore Foundation. She is married to the writer Andrew Davidson and lives in Sissinghurst.

Review:


A brutal, frank, and bittersweet memoir of poverty amid privilege - Peter Stothard, author, Alexandria

Beautiful and honest - Victoria Hislop, ‘Summer Read’, Women & Home

Vivid and sometimes painfully honest... She has taken the base and battered metal of her life and turned it into gold - Mail on Sunday

A collection of fragile fragments, handled with care - Daily Telegraph

[A] heartbreaking memoir - ‘Books of 2015’, Sunday Express

Full of vigorous humour and sharp social comment - Charlotte Moore, Books of the Year, New Statesman

Nicolson is a startlingly skilful writer and can wring bleak comedy from the unlikeliest of material... This level of honesty lifts the book into a league of its own: the enduring feeling, however, is of the author's own dogged inner vitality - Claire Harman, Evening Standard

Poignant... While there are harrowing aspects to Vanessa's story they are leavened by an atmospheric account of a life that was privileged in some ways, underprivileged in others but [...] always fascinating - Charlotte Heathcote, Daily Express

You finish this beautifully written, highly affecting memoir feeling that Vanessa Nicolson hasn't always been good, but wishing above all else that her mother could open her handbag now and, finally, give her the gift of love - Marcus Field, Independent

A searing and uncomfortable book... beautifully written - Vanessa Berridge, Sunday Express

In recording her own roles as both daughter and mother, Nicolson has penned a double helix to motherhood. It accounts for the many shades of experience that shouldn't be, but so frequently are, endured in families, irrelevant of privilege - Rebecca Swirsky, Observer

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781783780785: Have You Been Good?: A Memoir

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ISBN 10:  1783780789 ISBN 13:  9781783780785
Publisher: Granta Books, 2016
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Book Description Granta, 2015. 1-82. Condition: New. The granddaughter of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, Vanessa Nicolson was born to an illustrious name and an unhappy marriage. In this brutally frank, bittersweet memoir, she chronicles her reckless childhood and disjointed youth, summer holidays at Sissinghurst Castle, and life at a liberal boarding school. Interlinked with her story is that of her daughter Rosa, who died at the age of 19. The result is a powerful meditation on love and loss, cultural privilege and emotional deprivation. Seller Inventory # 225043

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Book Description Granta Books. HC. Condition: New. Vanessa Nicolson is the granddaughter of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson. Her father, the art historian Ben Nicolson, was homosexual and his marriage to Vanessa's Italian mother fell apart when Vanessa was very young. This chronicles her fractured. Seller Inventory # Jul18-57 Jul18

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Book Description Granta, London, 2015. HARDCOVER. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. 1st printing. 8vo in red boards, silver lettering to spine, 311pp. This copy signed by the author on the title-page (no other inscriptions) . . . . . [ CONDITION : NEW unread copy in NEW Dust Jacket ] . . . . . . . . . We always ship in PROTECTIVE CARD PARCELS. Seller Inventory # T17N2347

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