The Iceberg: A Memoir

Coutts, Marion. 2015. The Iceberg: A Memoir. London: Atlantic Books. ISBN 9781782393528 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

In 2008 the art critic Tom Lubbock was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The tumour was located in the area controlling speech and language, and would eventually rob him of the ability to speak. He died early in 2011. Marion Coutts was his wife.

In short bursts of beautiful, textured prose, Coutts describes the eighteen months leading up to her partner’s death. This book is an account of a family unit, man, woman, young child, under assault, and how the three of them fought to keep it intact.

Written with extraordinary narrative force and power, The Iceberg is almost shocking in its rawness. It charts the deterioration of Tom’s speech even as it records the developing language of his child. Fury, selfishness, grief, indignity and impotence are all examined and brought to light.

Yet out of this comes a rare story about belonging, an ‘adventure of being and dying’. This book is a celebration of each other, friends, family, art, work, love and language.

The winner of the Wellcome Book Prize 2015. Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2014.

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2 April 2015

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Date Deposited:

18 Aug 2015 08:28

Last Modified:

19 Mar 2021 12:54


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