In his acclaimed and much-loved memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father? Blake Morrison's mother remains an intriguing but mysterious figure. One of the many things she never quite told him was that before becoming Kim Morrison she had been Agnes O'Shea, one of a large Irish family; he barely met his Irish relations. But there were other secrets too. This is her startling and touching story - and a son's search to uncover the truth about the reserved and remarkable Kerry girl who qualified as a doctor in Dublin in 1942, worked in English hospitals throughout the war, and then reinvented herself as a conventional wife and mother (though never quite as conventional as she seemed). At the heart of the book is a passionate wartime love affair seen through the frank, funny, furious letters his parents wrote during their couttship. Painfully honest, unusual, a new kind of memoir, Things My Mother Never Told Me paints an unforgettable portrait of a quiet, determined hetoine for our times, but also evokes a vivid, surprising picture of life and love in WWII from the busy hospital labour wards to RAF pilots being lectured on the perils of syphilis.
It is at the same time an extraordinarily poignant anatomy of love and mattiage from an incomparable writer.
Blake Morrison is the author of a memoir, And When Did You Last See Your Father?, one novel The Justification of Johann Gutenberg, two collections of poems, a children's book, and a study of the Bulger case, As If. He lives in London.