Love and War in London: A Woman’s Diary 1939-1942 is rooted in the extraordinary milieu of wartime London. Vibrant and engaging, Olivia’s diary reveals her frustrations, fears, pleasures, and self-doubts. She records her mood swings and tries to understand them, and speaks of her lover (a married man) and the intense relationship they have. As she and her friends and family in New Scotland Yard are swept up by the momentous events of another European war, she vividly reports on what she sees and hears in her daily life.
Hers is a diary that brings together the personal and the public. It permits us to understand how one intelligent, imaginative woman struggled to make sense of her life, as the city in which she lived was drawn into the turmoil of a catastrophic war.
Marian Hughes was born in the same year as her father committed suicide. She spent most of her early childhood with her elder sisters and brother in Spurgeon’s Orphanage in South London. There she learned to love extravagant hymns and to receive regular beatings.
Suddenly, when Marian was ten, her mother appeared. All four children were swept up by their mother to live in a damp and filthy flat off Baker Street. There began a life of moonlight flits, camping and squats. Marian’s mother forgot to feed her children, and paid no attention to school or the bombing. Marian soon turned to begging and stealing to help the family get by.
Marian’s brother and elder sisters left home as soon as they could, but Marian remained to support her deranged and frequently violent mother, evading Care and Protection Orders and often running away. Then the day finally came when Marian had to sign the papers to have her mother committed. From that moment, 14-year-old Marian had to find out if she was strong enough to live for herself ...
Throughout all the twists and turns of her childhood, Marian never lost her spirit and never faltered in her loyalty. Full of vigour, truth, humour and curiosity, No Cake, No Jam is a passionate celebration of a life and love.
Nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Root
Chosen by Emma Straub as a Best New Celebrity Memoir
“A book of essays as raw and honest as anyone has ever produced.” — Lena Dunham, Lenny Letter
In the spirit of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, and Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist, a powerful collection of essays about gender, sexuality, race, beauty, Hollywood, and what it means to be a modern woman.
One month before the release of the highly anticipated film The Birth of a Nation, actress Gabrielle Union shook the world with a vulnerable and impassioned editorial in which she urged our society to have compassion for victims of sexual violence. In the wake of rape allegations made against director and actor Nate Parker, Union—a forty-four-year-old actress who launched her career with roles in iconic ’90s movies—instantly became the insightful, outspoken actress that Hollywood has been desperately awaiting. With honesty and heartbreaking wisdom, she revealed her own trauma as a victim of sexual assault: "It is for you that I am speaking. This is real. We are real."
In this moving collection of thought provoking essays infused with her unique wisdom and deep humor, Union uses that same fearlessness to tell astonishingly personal and true stories about power, color, gender, feminism, and fame. Union tackles a range of experiences, including bullying, beauty standards, and competition between women in Hollywood, growing up in white California suburbia and then spending summers with her black relatives in Nebraska, coping with crushes, puberty, and the divorce of her parents. Genuine and perceptive, Union bravely lays herself bare, uncovering a complex and courageous life of self-doubt and self-discovery with incredible poise and brutal honesty. Throughout, she compels us to be ethical and empathetic, and reminds us of the importance of confidence, self-awareness, and the power of sharing truth, laughter, and support.