Grace Williams Says it Loud, By Emma Henderson
A first novel that speaks volumes
Sunday 06 March 2011
Emma Henderson's superb debut novel tells the story of Grace, a woman "mangled in body and mind", and her experiences in a British mental institution in the 1950s and 1960s.
Her mouth misshapen, Grace finds it hard to speak, but Henderson imagines an eloquent interior monologue, telling of her dreams, desires and frustrations.
Henderson dramatises shocking attitudes to mental illness – doctors refer to the patients as "monstrous" – but her triumph lies in the fact that the reader begins to forget the heroine's condition altogether. Grace's romance with Daniel, a "debonair" epileptic, is tender and convincing; the limber, musical prose peppered with brilliant descriptions: Daniel's body is "dangle-dancing", his face a "squashed bauble".
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Katie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson-fronted Marvel superhero movie
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
North Korea threatens Britain over 'mud-slinging' Channel 4 thriller focusing on Kim Jong-un's nuclear weapons programme
Olivia Colman and Mary Berry top Radio Times' female power list
New Netflix releases: Films and TV shows coming in September 2014
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain