Winner of the Scottish Arts Council Book Award and the MIND/Allan Lane Book Award.
Nominated for the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Scottish First Book of the Year.
Synopses & Reviews
This inventive first novel explores the widespread problem of female depression. A 27-year-old drama teacher named Joy Stone has come undone. The problems of everyday living accumulate and begin to torture Joy, who blames her problems not on her work or on the accidental drowning death of her illicit lover, but on herself. Clutching at the wrong things, she eventually learns that the trick is to find those that let life go on. While painful and deeply serious, this is a novel of great warmth and energy. The wit and irony found in moments of despair prove to be Joy's salvation and add a completely original note to women's writing.
The novel was first published in Scotland in 1989, where it won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Scottish First Book of the Year. It was published in hardcover in the U.S. in 1994 by Dalkey and received widespread critical acclaim.
"The book resembles Tristram Shandy as rewritten by Sylvia Plath." New York Times Book Review
"Meticulously observed, agonizing and funny....Galloway delivers a thoughtful, witty chronicle of depression and potential renewal." Publishers Weekly
"An amazing first novel." Chicago Tribune
"A superbly rendered first person narrative....A woman with more problems than you, dreadfully well done." Kirkus Reviews
"The writing is artistic strong, gritty, mordant in its black wit, effective at conveying the fragmented life of its subject." Booklist
"Janice Galloway punctures the social taboo of insanity in her novel...by revealing the thoughts of an insane heroine. Exploring the extremities of human emotion that encompass Joy's search for a will to live, Galloway leaves us with the feeling of something uncannily familiar." Los Angeles Reader
About the Author
JANICE GALLOWAY was born in Ayrshire in 1956. She has worked in a variety of paid and unpaid jobs but has mostly been a teacher. Since 1987 when her first story was published, she has become known for her fiction. Her books include the novel Foreign Parts and the short story collection Blood. She likes cities and lives in Glasgow.