By Yesa Daley-Ward
From the celebrated poet behind bone, a collection of poems that tells a story of coming-of-age, uncovering the cruelty and beauty of the world, going under, and finding redemption
WINNER OF THE PEN ACKERLEY PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 PEN OPEN BOOK AWARD
The Terrible, Yrsa Daley-Ward’s brave, raw, lyrical memoir that captures the surreal magic and incredible discomfort of adolescence, burgeoning sexuality, rootlessness, and connection.
Through emotional snapshots that span from her adolescence through her early twenties, each brought to life in Yrsa’s signature style of open white spaces and stirring, singular lines, The Terrible evokes the pain and thrill of girlhood, as well as what it means to discover the fear and power that come with being a woman.
With a sharp eye and a rare talent for mining the beauty and the sorrow in the everyday, Yrsa recounts her remarkable life: growing up as one of the only black children in a poor, white, working class town; navigating the extreme Christianity of her family; inquiring after her paternity; moving through phases of addiction and sexual encounters; and ultimately finding her place in her family and in life.