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Yrsa Daley-Ward. Photo credit: Laurel Grolio, for Girls At Library.

Nigerian-Jamaican model-turned-Instapoet Yrsa Daley-Ward’s memoir The Terrible: A Storyteller’s Memoir has been named among Vogue magazine’s Must-Read Books of 2018. The follow up to her 2014 debut, the poetry collection bone, the 224-page book was published by Penguin in June and is part prose, part verse.

Here is what Vogue‘s Hayley Maitland said about it:

In a combination of prose and verse, Instagram poet Yrsa Daley-Ward’s The Terrible reflects on her adolescence in the northwest of England, sharing everything from touching memories of playing with her brother Little Roo to the difficulties of being raised by her Seventh-Day Adventist grandparents. Virtually every page includes a quote that will stay with you for days after you read it.

The Terrible has also been praised by The New York TimesThe New YorkerThe Paris Review, and Kirkus. Here is a description of the book:

From the celebrated poet behind bone, a lyrical memoir—part prose, part verse—about coming-of-age, uncovering the cruelty and beauty of the wider world, and redemption through self-discovery and the bonds of family

This is the story of Yrsa Daley-Ward, and all the things that happened—“even the terrible things. And God, there were terrible things.” It’s about her childhood in the northwest of England with her beautiful, careworn mother Marcia; the man formerly known as Dad (half fun, half frightening); and her little brother Roo, who sees things written in the stars.

It’s also about the surreal magic of adolescence, about growing up and discovering the power and fear of sexuality, about pitch-gray days of pills and powder and connection. It’s about damage and pain, but also joy. Told with raw intensity and shocking honesty, The Terrible is a memoir of going under, losing yourself, and finding your voice.

See Vogue‘s full list HERE.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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