The Stirrings


Catherine Taylor’s account of growing up in northern England in the 1970s and 80s shines a light on the particular history of a time and place – that ‘strange country of the North’ as George Orwell famously called it. Against this backdrop, and of music, the miners’ strike, fears of nuclear war, and economic downturn – all of which become a character of sorts in her writing, Catherine Taylor creates a series of very personal essays on subjects traditionally seen as taboo: parental estrangement, abortion, chronic illness, and how an obsession with the serial killer who stalked Yorkshire throughout her childhood became the inspiration for early feminism – all shot through with poetry, risk-taking and humour.

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ISBN: 9781474625302 Category: Tag:


No life exists outside the times.

This is a story about one young woman coming of age, and about the place and time that shaped her: the North of England in the 1970s and 80s.

About the scorching summer of 1976 – the last Catherine Taylor would spend with both her parents in their home in Sheffield.

About the Yorkshire Ripper, the serial killer whose haunting presence in Catherine’s childhood was matched only by the aching absence of her own father.

About a country thrown into disarray by the nuclear threat and the Miners’ Strike, just as Catherine’s adolescent body was invaded by a debilitating illness.

About 1989’s ‘Second Summer of Love’, a time of sexual awakening for Catherine, and the unforeseen consequences that followed it.

About a tragic accident, and how the insidious dangers facing women would became increasingly apparent as Catherine crossed into to adulthood.

‘Part poignant memoir of time and place. Part record of the violence, and indifference, against which most girls grow up. The Stirrings is a pleasure and a shock’ Eimear McBride

‘A superb, moving and disturbing memoir – haunting and unforgettable’ Jonathan Coe