This is All

This is All

Paperback

By (author) Aidan Chambers

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  • Publisher: Definitions
  • Format: Paperback | 832 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 198mm x 54mm | 558g
  • Publication date: 4 January 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099417766
  • ISBN 13: 9780099417767
  • Sales rank: 193,993

Product description

Subtitled The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn this is the story of Cordelia from the time she is 15 until she is 20. She is pregnant and plans to give this account to her daughter on her 16th birthday so that they can share their youth together. She chooses the old and famous Japanese book, 'The Pillow Book' by Sei Shonagon, as a model in order to include all kinds of things she has already written as well as the episodes and thoughts she has now as she compiles her book. She tells of her mother (who died when Cordelia was 5) of her father and her aunt Doris (who marry when she is 16), of her love for William Blacklin, the boy with whom she chooses to have her first sex - and with whom she falls deeply in love. She writes about Julie Martin her teacher who helps her spiritually, describes her love affair with an older married man and her terrifying sexual experience with an unbalanced young man who is obsessed with her. The book includes thoughts on being a women, on poetry, music, reading and writing, on being pregnant and finally of her marriage to William. This Is All is an anthology, written in six 'books' of Cordelia's adolescent life, by turns funny, poignant, sad, exciting, fascinating ironic and truthful about topics that parents often do not tell their children. It is a richly entertaining and challenging read.

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Author information

Aidan Chambers lives in Gloucestershire with his American wife, Nancy, who is the editor of Signal magazine. He divides his time between his own writing and lecturing which he does extensively in Australia, the USA and Europe. His provocative and challenging novels for teenagers and young adults have won him international acclaim. Postcards from No-man's Land is the fifth novel in what he perceives as a sequence; this starts with Breaktime, continues with Dance on my Grave, and carries on through Now I Know to The Toll Bridge. This Is All is the sixth and final book in the sequence. Each novel stands on its own exploring a different aspect of contemporary adolescence.

Review quote

"explores the heart and soul of a teenage girl with a rawness that is both incredible and borderline alarming (alarming because the author is a middle aged man and he writes about being a teenage girl better than people who have actually experienced being one). Think a longer, more structurally unique Catcher In The Rye if Holden was a girl." Huffington Post "A warm, poignant and sometimes funny novel ... beautifully written and cleverly crafted ... A very readable book whose ease belies its length and complexity" -- Kate Agnew Guardian "Remarkable" -- Boyd Tonkin Independent "Serious and self-absorbed, Cordelia is the antidote to the ditzy heroines of a thousand pink covers but it is an addictive read, even at 800 pages. Anyone who questions the validity of specialist "teen" fiction should read it" -- Dinah Hall Sunday Telegraph "Captures in story form the confusion, the ordinariness, the excitement and the shape of everyday lives ... Chambers has delivered another provocative, informed, stimulating and controversial book" Inis