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'A memoir that didn't fleece the people I love'

25 June 2018

‘You don't necessarily choose the books you write; they choose you, in a way. Sometimes one arrives when you are least expecting it, a bit like an unplanned pregnancy. This book was very much like that. But I had huge trepidations about publishing it. I only let my publisher give me a £1 advance in case I changed my mind.

I knew because it was so personal that I needed to get it completely right, not just so that I was happy with it but so that my husband and family and anyone else who was in it was happy with it. I love reading memoirs but sometimes I feel viscerally shocked at how exposing they are to people who don't have a right of reply. So, it was a very important to me to write a memoir that didn't fleece the people I love.'

Maggie O'Farrell writing about her latest book, I Am. I Am. I Am in the Observer. Her seven novels include The Hand That First Held Mine and This Must Be the Place.