Jack Messenger

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Tag: Memoir

Far Away and Further Back | Patrick Burns | Review

Far Away and Further Back, a memoir by Patrick Burns, is a light, easy read, and an interesting one.‘In these stories from four decades of living and working around the world, corporate nomad Patrick Burns recounts some of his most memorable experiences: from dangerous pyrotechnic liaisons in the Algerian desert to a quest to find the Archbishop of Rangoon after a chance meeting in an English village church. This exploration of the personal landscape of expatriate life is interwoven with a navigation of some of the ties that have bound his unusual Anglo-German family during the past century; a mixture of hardcore Yorkshire eccentricity (including a grandfather whose obsession with installing indoor toilets inadvertently led to a twenty-five year family rift) and a liberal academic, Hanoverian heritage disoriented by Hitler, the events of 1939–1945 and the Cold War.’

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A Way Out | Michelle Balge

A Way Out by Michelle BalgeOut of the Wilderness: A non-literary book review of A Way Out: A Memoir of Conquering Depression and Social Anxiety, by Michelle Balge

As Michelle Balge acknowledges in her epilogue to A Way Out, the trouble with mental illness is that so much of it is ‘about me, me, me and how I’m insecure, but this is what these illnesses do to you.’ It follows that A Way Out does not hesitate to divulge its author’s most intimate secrets in her long battle with depression and social anxiety. Such honesty and candour lays bare an individual life in ways that illuminate our own experiences of mental illness: in speaking of herself, she speaks of us all.

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