In a rare foray outside that natural home, Booker Prize-winner Bernice Rubens penned these memoirs 'while I still have a memory'. Poignantly, the highly-acclaimed author, literary bon-vivante and celebrated film-maker died shortly after completing them. She wasn't quite expecting that but nor, as she reveals in these pages, did she expect to become a writer. It wasn't the sort of thing that happened to girls born in Glossop Terrace in Splott, the 'unmentionable and indisputable armpit of Cardiff'.
In this delightful evocation of her own life, Rubens escorts us, with a flotilla of anecdotes, away from that armpit through her wartime childhood, her first 'major folly' (studying English at University) to stints as a teacher, lady's maid and actress before stumbling upon a career that bemused her until the end of her days. 'What shall I do,' was her constant internal refrain, 'when I grow up?'
Bernice Rubens died in the autumn of 2004.
Bernice Rubens was born in Wales. Her novels include the Booker-Prize winning THE ELECTED MEMBER and A FIVE YEAR SENTENCE, which was shortlisted for the same award.