Before I started the Writing Lives module, I had never considered working class writing as a form of literature that appealed to me. I had wrongly assumed that in order to be entertaining and interesting, an author must be quite well educated and most importantly, published.
However, when I chose my author, Mary Turner, I began to see that this wasn’t case. Reading Mary’s memoir, I realised that the writing can transcend gender, class and time periods. At the beginning I honestly assumed that I was reading the life story of a woman with grandchildren and that it would be dull and out of touch. Instead, I found that although the events described happened decades ago, I could still relate to them now.
I’ve spent a lot of time reading and analysing Mary’s memoir, and each time I still notice something new that takes me by surprise, or makes me like her even more.
From funny anecdotes about sexual experiences gone wrong with chilli paste, to the heart breaking confession of nearly twenty miscarriages, I have gained so much respect for this author, who poured truth onto the page and in doing so sent me through a range of emotions. At the very least, Mary Turner’s memoir is a fascinating and enjoyable read. I would say it is also an interesting and insightful account of the nitty-gritty side of wartime.
I hope that this blog will bring her voice to audiences, because honestly, it’s worth a listen.
(Jade Barber – author of Mary Turner blogs)