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3.0 

Learning to Talk

By Hilary Mantel
Learning to Talk by Hilary Mantel digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

A dazzling collection of short stories from the two-time winner of the Booker Prize and #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Wolf Hall trilogy.

In the wake of Hilary Mantel’s brilliant conclusion to her award-winning Wolf Hall trilogy, Learning to Talk is a collection of loosely autobiographical stories that locates the transforming moments of a haunted childhood.

Absorbing and evocative, these drawn-from-life stories begin in the 1950s in an insular northern village “scoured by bitter winds and rough gossip tongues.” For the young narrator, the only way to survive is to get up, get on, get out. In “King Billy Is a Gentleman,” the child must come to terms with the loss of a father and the puzzle of a fading Irish heritage. “Curved Is the Line of Beauty" is a story of friendship, faith and a near-disaster in a scrap-yard. The title story sees our narrator ironing out her northern vowels with the help of an ex-actress with one lung and a Manchester accent. In “Third Floor Rising," she watches, amazed, as her mother carves out a stylish new identity.

With a deceptively light touch, Mantel illuminates the poignant experiences of childhood that leave each of us forever changed.

“A book of her short stories is like a little sweet treat...Mantel’s narrators never tell everything they know, and that’s why they’re worth listening to, carefully.” —USA Today

“Her short stories always recognize other potential realities...Even the most straightforward of Mantel’s tales retain a faintly otherworldly air.” —The Washington Post

5 Reviews

3.0
“boring :/ I only finished this bc I’ve given up on too many movies and books lately and needed the quick dopamine hit from finishing something lol”
“Hilary Mantel's Learninv To Talk is a good collection of her early year memories, whether deformed or adapted by her brain or factual or even romanticized. Nobody really knows how the brain works and why it picks certains details and leaves others behind. I particularly loved learning about her school years, her relationship with her mother and father and her first professional experience. A very quick read and some good life lessons to be taken away. Thank you Net Galley and the publisher for this e-ARC in exchange of my honest review.”

About Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel was a renowned English writer who twice won the Booker Prize, for her best-selling novel Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. The final novel of the Wolf Hall trilogy, The Mirror & the Light, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and won worldwide critical acclaim. Mantel wrote seventeen celebrated books, including the memoir Giving Up the Ghost, and she was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction, the Walter Scott Prize, the Costa Book Award, the Hawthornden Prize, and many other accolades. In 2014, Mantel was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE). She died at age seventy in 2022.

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