“In the heart of the Green Belt nothing seemed to move. Stranded in the past, it wrestled with the present, and hated the future. And there I was, stuck with it.”
A Sunday Times top ten bestseller. An exploration of suburbia from music icon Tracey Thorn; singer-songwriter and bestselling author of Bedsit Disco Queen
A SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER
In a 1970s commuter town, Tracey Thorn’s teenage life was forged from what failed to happen. Her diaries were packed with entries about not buying things, not going to the disco, the school coach not arriving.
Before she became an acclaimed musician and writer, Tracey Thorn was a typical teenager: bored and cynical, despairing of her aspirational parents. Her only comfort came from house parties, Meaningful Conversations and the female pop icons who hinted at a new kind of living.
Returning more than three decades later to Brookmans Park, scene of her childhood, Thorn takes us beyond the bus shelters and pub car parks, the utopian cul-de-sacs, the train to Potters Bar and the weekly discos, to the parents who wanted so much for their children, the children who wanted none of it. With endearing wit and great insight, Thorn reconsiders the Green Belt post-war dream so many artists have mocked, and yet so many artists have come from.
“A beautiful writer … Exceptional … Made me catch my breath … Her language is straightforward, chatty, easy-to-read. Musical. Though Thorn tells us sharp truths, we gobble them up because she delivers them in such a deceptively pretty, poignant way”
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“When Thorn digs into her adolescence, the book sparks with wit and poignancy, helped by extracts from her teenage diaries that she smartly exploits for comedy and bathos”
“Readers of Thorn’s two previous memoirs will recognise the tone of this book, with its beautifully clean style, careful self-questioning and pervasive likability”
“Tender, wise and funny”
“I adored this. Wise, tender, beautifully observed, deadly funny. A Green Belt memoir classic”
Tracey Thorn is a singer-songwriter and writer, best known for her seventeen years in bestselling duo Everything But The Girl. She grew up as the youngest of three children in Brookmans Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, where she learned the piano, enjoyed underaged drinking, and started her first band while still at school. Since then, she has released four solo albums, one movie soundtrack, a large handful of singles and two books, including the Sunday Times bestselling memoir, Bedsit Disco Queen, and currently writes a column for the New Statesman. She lives in London, with her husband Ben Watt and their three children. @tracey_thorn | traceythorn.com