Learning to Talk is a dazzling collection of short stories from the two-time winner of the Booker Prize and #1 New York Timesbestselling author of the Wolf Hall trilogy.
In the wake of Hilary Mantel's brilliant conclusion to her award-winning Wolf Hall trilogy, this collection of loosely autobiographical stories locates the transforming moments of a haunted childhood.
Absorbing and evocative, these drawn-from-life stories begin in the 1950s in an insular northern village scoured by bitter winds and rough gossip tongues." For the young narrator, the only way to survive is to get up, get on, get out. In "King Billy Is a Gentleman," the child must come to terms with the loss of a father and the puzzle of a fading Irish heritage. "Curved Is the Line of Beauty" is a story of friendship, faith and a near-disaster in a scrap-yard. The title story sees our narrator ironing out her northern vowels with the help of an ex-actress with one lung and a Manchester accent. In "Third Floor Rising," she watches, amazed, as her mother carves out a stylish new identity.
With a deceptively light touch, Mantel illuminates the poignant experiences of childhood that leave each of us forever changed.
Hilary Mantel is the two-time winner of the Booker Prize for her best-selling novels, Wolf Hall, and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies . The final novel of the Wolf Hall trilogy, The Mirror & the Light, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and won critical acclaim around the globe. Mantel is the author of over a dozen books, including A Place of Greater Safety, Beyond Black, and the memoir Giving Up the Ghost .