Two Sisters: Unabridged edition
‘Tender, vivid and achingly sad’ GUARDIAN, BOOK OF THE YEAR
TWO SISTERS publishes on the 30th anniversary of Blake Morrison’s ground-breaking book And When Did You Last See Your Father? which forged the way for a new genre of confessional memoir.
‘She’s gone, that’s all, and though there’s no retrieving her I’d like to make sense of who she was and what she became. It wasn’t just that she changed over time. She could change from day to day. Drink made it worse but the origins went deeper. You never knew which you’d get, the kind and loving Gill or her doppelgänger. Two sisters.’
Blake Morrison has lost a sister and a half-sister in recent years. Both are the subjects of this remarkable and heart-breaking memoir, along with a forensic examination of sibling relationships in history and literature.
Blake’s sister Gill struggled with alcoholism for a large part of her life, and her shocking death is the starting point for Two Sisters. Blake returns to their childhood to search for the origins of her later difficulties, and in doing so unearths the story behind his half-sister, Josie.
As he unravels these narratives, Blake deals movingly in the guilt and shame that will be familiar to every person who has struggled with addiction in their family. He is unflinching in doing so, and the result is a book which provides testament to that common struggle, as well as acknowledging the complex, hidden forces on which all our lives are based.
Two Sisters is the extraordinary new memoir from the chronicler of human frailty, Blake Morrison.
Poems from Skin and Blister are featured by kind permission of Mariscat Press.
”'A book at once bold, magnanimous, heart-breaking and riveting…” - HOWARD JACOBSON
”'Beautiful. Affecting. Erudite.” - SUSIE ORBACH
'Tender, vivid and achingly sad' GUARDIAN, BOOK OF THE YEAR -
”'A ground-breaking confessional memoir” - BBC Books of 2023
”'Pungent, disturbing, entirely unforgettable” - THE TIMES
”'Morrison writes with a reckless respect for the truth” - GUARDIAN
”'Harrowing, candid and clear-eyed, unflinchingly honest and self-critical. Two sad stories. The strangeness of families and the weight of the past. The guilt of being OK” - NICCI GERRARD
”'Few writers can claim to have affected the literary landscape like Blake Morrison… Two Sisters is not an easy book to read, but it is a bracingly honest one” - MAIL ON SUNDAY, Book of the Week
”'A wonderfully heartfelt and tender thing: delicate and unstinting and clear-eyed” - OBSERVER, Book of the Week
”'Engrossing” - SPECTATOR
”'A beautiful, brave and brutal memoir that does not shy away from hard truths” - THE TIMES
”'An acute, wonderfully adroit book, overflowing with sharp yet compassionate observations about human nature” - THE INDEPENDENT
”'A writer of undoubted skill” - NEW STATESMAN
”'Painful, hesitant, honest, agonised, controlled and (especially the latter) full of love” - DAILY MAIL
”'True to a complex, many-layered grief” - TLS
‘'Morrison has a startling gift' LITERARY REVIEW -
”'Blake Morrison is a writer who tenderly and relentlessly lifts every stone, and the stones beneath, searching for the roots of human feelings and human relations, and revealing them to the reader” - LOUISA YOUNG
”'Affecting… it could help those who have lost a sibling” - FINANCIAL TIMES
”'Remarkable and heart-breaking” - SHEER LUXE