In Review

Book review – Nonfiction: A Novel by Julie Myerson

This is Myerson’s ‘squarest attempt so far at autobiographical fiction’

In 2009, the novelist Julie Myerson found herself at the centre of a media storm after publishing a non-fiction account of her eldest son’s addiction to marijuana, said Hephzibah Anderson in The Observer. The episode, she has said, drove her to a “kind of breakdown”, and she has never directly addressed it in her writing. Except that now, in a way, she has. This, her 11th novel – entitled Nonfiction – is all about “teenage drug addiction”. The narrator is a once “happily married” writer, who is looking back on her attempts to save her heroin-addicted daughter “from self-destruction”. Given her own backstory, Myerson is risking a lot with such a novel – but “the results are nothing less than incandescent”.

The title is confusing, and deliberately so, said Alex Peake-Tomkinson in The Spectator. This is Myerson’s “squarest attempt so far at autobiographical fiction”. Yet in other ways, it seems a typical work: she has always explored “her worst fears in her novels”. Although I hope she will “look beyond her own life” in future, I found this a “satisfyingly propulsive” read.

Corsair 288pp £16.99; The Week Bookshop £13.99

Nonfiction: A Novel by Julie Myerson
The Week Bookshop

To order this title or any other book in print, visit theweekbookshop.co.uk, or speak to a bookseller on 020-3176 3835. Opening times: Monday to Saturday 9am-5.30pm and Sunday 10am-4pm.

Recommended

Five of the best sewing machines
Woman sewing in her kitchen
The wish list

Five of the best sewing machines

UK summer food and drink festivals
Bakers on a stall at the Abergavenny Food Festival
On the menu

UK summer food and drink festivals

KOL: a tour of Mexican cuisine past, present and future
KOL Mexican restaurant in London
In Review

KOL: a tour of Mexican cuisine past, present and future

27 of the best hotels to discover in 2022
Spa at The Retreat at Elcot Park
In Focus

27 of the best hotels to discover in 2022

Popular articles

Are we heading for World War Three?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Are we heading for World War Three?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 6 July 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 6 July 2022

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?
Nato troops
Today’s big question

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?

The Week Footer Banner