Misadventures is a unique ensemble of mishaps and anecdotes revealing the ups and downs of one woman’s life in twentieth-century London. Sylvia Smith’s deadpan patter belies the startling complexities, humour and darkness at the heart of this remarkable memoir.
“This is the nicest, wisest and funniest book I have read for ages. I sat up till 1.30am and read it all the way through, giggling happily”
Helen Fielding, Author Of Bridget Jones’ Diary
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“Outlandishly banal … Strangely gripping … Smith wins you over’”
“What was banal becomes weirdly compelling - a life of utter normality (whatever that means) drawn in the way literature seldom, if ever, describes it: funny, poignant, tragic and, in the end, curiously hopeful”
“The Diary of a Nobody for the twenty-first century”
“A strange, unsettling and oddly moving read … it gives a voice to one ordinary woman’s life, of the kind rarely commemorated in autobiographical writing”
Born in East London to working-class parents as the Second World War was drawing to a close, Sylvia Smith ducked out of a career in hairdressing at the last minute to begin a life of office work. A driving licence and a school swimming certificate were her only qualifications, although she was also quite good at dressmaking. Misadventures was her first book. She died on 23 February 2013.