A beautiful, brave, ideas-rich, open and electric reckoning – with addiction, loss, self and hope in your twenties and thirties
A WATERSTONES BEST BOOK OF 2023: BIOGRAPHY
This Ragged Grace tells the story of Octavia’s journey through recovery from alcohol addiction, and the parallel story of her father’s descent into Alzheimer’s. Looking back over this time, each of the seven chapters explores the feelings and experiences of the corresponding year of her recovery, tracing the shift in emotion and understanding that comes with the deepening connection to this new way of life. Over the course of this seven-year period, life continues to unfold. Paths are abandoned, people fall ill, waters get choppy, seemingly impossible things are navigated without the old fixes.
As Octavia moves between London, the island of Stromboli, New York, Cornwall and Margate, each place offers something new but ultimately always delivers the same message: that wherever you go, you take yourself with you.
“An intimate, raw, empathetic story of loss, recovery, love and human fragility. This Ragged Grace is a beautifully-written and intricately-observed masterpiece of a memoir”
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“An extraordinary, electrifying book about loss, chaos, addiction and death, and the wild work of staying tender in the face of it”
“A beautifully written and intellectual account of a woman coming to terms with herself … Heartbreakingly tender … Her sensitivity to the world is what makes the writing so beautiful and, ultimately, hopeful. Death hovers on every page and yet this book is full of life”
“The intelligence of the writing is a kind of grace in itself - light and deep and beautiful”
”This Ragged Grace is smart and tender, and honest in that raw way that gets you at the back of your throat. It is slowly revealing of the world, and an avalanche of feeling, all at the same time. A towering act of grace, in fact”
Octavia Bright is a writer and broadcaster. She co-hosts Literary Friction, the literary podcast and NTS Radio show, with Carrie Plitt. Recommended by the New York Times, Guardian, BBC Culture, Electric Literature, Sunday Times and others, it has run for ten years and has listeners worldwide. She has also presented programmes for BBC R4 including Open Book, and hosts literary events for bookshops, publishers and festivals – such as Cheltenham Literature Festival and events for The Southbank Centre. Her writing has been published in a number of magazines including the White Review, Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, Wasafiri, Somesuch Stories, and the Sunday Times, amongst others. She has a PhD from UCL where she wrote about hysteria and desire in Spanish cinema.
@octaviabright_ | octavia.bright