The Terrible

A Storyteller's Memoir
Trade Paperback

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From the celebrated poet behind bone, a lyrical memoir—part prose, part verse—about coming-of-age, uncovering the cruelty and beauty of the wider world, and redemption through self-discovery and the bonds of family
 
“You may not run away from the thing that you are
because it comes and comes and comes as sure as you breathe.”
 
This is the story of Yrsa Daley-Ward, and all the things that happened—“even the terrible things. And God, there were terrible things.” It’s about her childhood in the northwest of England with her beautiful, careworn mother Marcia; the man formerly known as Dad (half fun, half frightening); and her little brother Roo, who sees things written in the stars.
 
It’s also about the surreal magic of adolescence, about growing up and discovering the power and fear of sexuality, about pitch-gray days of pills and powder and connection. It’s about damage and pain, but also joy. Told with raw intensity and shocking honesty, The Terrible is a memoir of going under, losing yourself, and finding your voice.

Praise

Praise for The Terrible

One of Elle’s 30 Best Books to Read This Summer

“A powerful, unconventionally structured memoir recounting harrowing coming-of-age ordeals . . . Daley-Ward resists classification in this profound mix of poetry and prose. . . . [She] has quite a ferociously moving story to tell.”
Kirkus (starred)

“[Daley-Ward] has become known for spare, sharp, unflinching, and joyous writing. Cannot wait for this one in June.” 
—Bustle, “12 Most Anticipated Poetry Collections Hitting Bookstores In 2018”

“Yrsa Daley-Ward is laying her pain bare and turning it into uplifting, unconventional poetry. . . . If readers thought she bared her soul through bone, her memoir The Terrible will be another lesson in how to fearlessly turn the pain of her past into uplifting prose.” 
—PopSugar

Praise for Yrsa Daley-Ward

“Yrsa’s work is like holding the truth in your hands. It sweats and breathes before you. A glorious living thing.”
—Florence Welch, of Florence + the Machine

“daley-ward effortlessly mines the bone. the diamond from the difficult. the things that are too bright and taboo. she lays her hands on the pulse of the thing. . . . an expert storyteller. of the rarest. and purest kind . . . daley-ward’s extraordinary talent. ability. to both see and write the veins of the true life. the true lives. is a gift. a breath.”
—nayyirah waheed, author of salt. and nejma

“[Daley-Ward] has a knack for getting directly to a story’s heat-point, and once there, to distill the emotions within it down to a line or two.”
Hanif Abdurraqib, The Atlantic

“Daley-Ward’s short poems cover subjects like depression, falling in and out of love, and sexuality, with a fierce staccato that, as the title suggests, cuts deep.”
Vogue 

“[A] stunning excavator of human heat and light.”
—HuffPost