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The Iceberg

Coutts, Marion. 2014. The Iceberg. London: Atlantic Books. ISBN 9-781782-393504 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

Marion Coutts is an artist and writer. She works in sculpture, film and video and has exhibited widely, nationally and internationally. In 2003-4 she was the Kettle¹s Yard Fellow at St John's College, Cambridge, and previous residencies include Tate Liverpool and The British School at Rome. Marion was married to the art critic Tom Lubbock who died in 2011 and she wrote the introduction to his memoir Until Further Notice, I am Alive, published by Granta in 2012. She is the editor of his essay anthology English Graphic, published by Frances Lincoln in October 2012. She is a Lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College. She lives in London with her son.

Her mesmerising memoir, THE ICEBERG, was published by Atlantic in July 2014 to rave reviews and was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the Costa prize and the Duff Cooper prize. It won the Wellcome Book Prize 2015.

The Iceberg Winner of the Wellcome Book Prize 2015
Published by Atlantic Books 2014: hardback 294 pp. ISBN 978-1782393504, paperback ISBN 978-17823934528
Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction 2014
Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2015
Shortlisted for the Pol Roger Duff Cooper Award 2015
Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2014
Finalist in the National Book Critics Circle Awards of America 2017
Mandarin edition 2015: Simplified Chinese edition 2017: Spanish edition 2017: US edition 2016
Audible Audiobook 2016

Item Type: Book

Additional Information:

Praise for THE ICEBERG (2014):

'It is a memoir quite unlike any other. It has the strength of an arrow: taut, spiked, quivering, working to its fatal conclusion… An extraordinary story told in an extraordinary way' Sunday Times

'Intimate and unflinching, this is a stunning record… miraculous… magnificent… [Marion] chooses her words with such beautiful scrupulousness, never twisting or turning the knife of her story to exact our pity or admiration; her thought is like sensation, her descriptions of feeling are often like notes for a visual work' Guardian

'An exquisitely expressed portrait of three lives operating in the shadow of catastrophe…in a language that is as vivid as it is poetic. The Iceberg is a book about death, certainly, but it’s also about survival. The miracle here is not only in Coutts coming through such an ordeal, but in finding the wherewithal to observe it, unpick its complex psychology, and commit it to paper. This is human trauma, profoundly and beautifully told' Fiona Sturges, Independent

'Coutts's prose blinds and burns you, but it is also purifying. It is like that moment when an optician finally drops in the correct lens and you suddenly read the chart to the final line. What shimmers even more brightly than Coutts's honest is the force behind it: the quality of her love for her husband and son, and the intensity of their love for her... The book's truth is so pure and compressed, as though Coutts had condensed the coal of her experience into a diamond. Encountering it is like a near-death experience, at once traumatic and profoundly, permanently illuminating. Love itself is in these pages: not a representation of love, but love, pure and simple. The book reeks of it' New York Times

'[T]he most moving book I have read in some time... It is a harrowing read, as you would expect, but also beautifully written and intensely powerful' Bill Bryson, Wellcome Prize Judge 2014

'[The Iceberg] has the power to astound… A marvellous book… it ought to be read by anyone who ever pauses to consider our mortality' Telegraph

'Lyrical, textured, perfectly paced… [A] startlingly beautiful and inspiring pioneer text' Marcus Field, Independent

'An exquisitely expressed portrait of three lives operating in the shadow of catastrophe…in a language that is as vivid as it is poetic. The Iceberg is a book about death, certainly, but it’s also about survival. The miracle here is not only in Coutts coming through such an ordeal, but in finding the wherewithal to observe it, unpick its complex psychology, and commit it to paper. This is human trauma, profoundly and beautifully told' Fiona Sturges, Independent

'This book bowls me over with its beauty and profundity, and it seems a new kind of thinking in itself, a work of word art unlike any other' Laura Cumming

'Seeing is an action, Marion Coutts says, like aiming or hitting. And writing, in her hands, becomes yet more so, harsh and fierce and beautiful in this shocking book' Jenny Turner

'Dazzling, devastating... Coutts achieves something extraordinary - she's created one of the most haunting and achingly honest explorations of grief in recent memory... The Iceberg doesn't merely represent what it sets out to depict; it deftly communicates the emotional truth behind it' LA Times

'Poignant and powerful... Coutts' memoir unfolds in the most breathtaking, heart-stopping prose. She tells it like it is, brutally and unflinchingly, but her original thoughts, acute observations, candid feelings and brittle poetry combine to work wonders, compelling the reader to salute her and accompany her to the book's tragic end. [The] last 10 pages could be the most moving you will encounter all year. We close her book and emerge stuned yet transformed from a singular reading experience' Star Tribune

Keywords:

Marion Coutts, Tom Lubbock, Art, Language, Brain tumour, memoir, sculpture, photography, Wellcome Book Prize 2015, Samuel Johnson prize, Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction 2014, shortlist, Costa Biography Award 2015, shortlist Pol Roger Duff Cooper Award 2015 shortlist Guardian First Book Award 2014 longest National Book Critics Circle Awards of America 2017, finalist Mandarin edition 2015: Simplified Chinese edition 2017: Spanish edition 2017: US edition 2016 Audible Audiobook 2016

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Art

Date:

2014

Item ID:

21068

Date Deposited:

22 Sep 2017 10:01

Last Modified:

22 Sep 2017 10:01

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/21068

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