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Some memoirs take you places you never thought you’d go: like Marshall, Minnesota, where all there is to do is go to Walmart— unless you are Alice, her husband and her young son, who have arrived from England to pick up their surrogate baby. Once she’s born, that is.

This is no misery memoir; instead, novelist and playwright Alice Jolly explores the memoir form as a way of processing what is happening to her and those around her, exploring the strange, alien worlds of stillbirth, IVF and applications for adoption, to ask who defines what constitutes a ‘real’ woman in society today.  (Answer—as it has been for centuries— largely men). Her account is heart-rending, but also full of humour and observation. It won the 2016 Pen Ackerley Prize.

Alice will be in conversation with Guardian book reviewer Stephanie Cross at
Quarter Horse Coffee, 76 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1JB on Tuesday 8 November 2016. 7.00pm.

It’s free.

All we need is you.

 

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