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Arrangements in Blue

Notes on Love and Making a Life

Amy Key



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18 July 2023
Is it possible life without romantic love isn't so bad?

An essential memoir about building life on your own terms

Is it possible life without romantic love isn't so bad?

An essential memoir about building life on your own terms

'The book I've been waiting for my entire life' DOLLY ALDERTON, author of Everything I Know About Love

'Marks an important shift in ideas about intimacy' OBSERVER

'The harbinger of real talent' SUNDAY TIMES

When poet Amy Key was growing up, she looked forward to a life shaped by romance, fuelled by desire, longing and the conventional markers of success that come when you share a life with another person. But that didn't happen for her. Now in her forties, she sets out to explore the realities of a life lived in the absence of romantic love.

Using Joni Mitchell's seminal album Blue - which shaped Key's expectations of love - as an anchor, Arrangements in Blue elegantly honours a life lived completely by, and for, oneself. Building a home, travelling alone, choosing whether to be a mother, recognising her own milestones, learning the limits of self-care and the expansive potential of self-friendship, Key uncovers the many forms of connection and care that often go unnoticed.

With profound candour and intimacy, Arrangements in Blue explores the painful feelings we are usually too ashamed to discuss- loneliness, envy, grief and failure. The result is a book which inspires us to live and love more honestly.

Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 222mm,  Width: 144mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   361g
ISBN:   9781787333895
ISBN 10:   1787333892
Pages:   240
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Amy Key is a poet and writer based in London. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Luxe and Isn't Forever, which was a Poetry Book Society Wild Card Choice and a Book of the Year in the Guardian, New Statesman and The Times. Her poems have been widely published and anthologised, and her essays have appeared in At the Pond, Granta, the Poetry Review and elsewhere.

Reviews for Arrangements in Blue: Notes on Love and Making a Life

Deeply moving... A study of love - platonic and romantic, lost and found - Amy's memoir demonstrates the power of music on forming a self. * i-D, Books to be Excited for in 2023 * A beautiful, painful, liberating book. Amy Key writes with such tenderness and insight about a life without romantic love at its centre, exacting as to its impoverishments, exultant over its many and unexpected riches. -- Olivia Laing, author of Crudo Amy Key writes with rare integrity, courage and style about the pursuit of love - it's somehow both consoling and provoking, and a beautiful and necessary book. -- Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent A gorgeous manifesto for a solo life, the power of music and friendships and a reckoning with the possibilities of love and fulfilment. -- Sinead Gleeson, author of CONSTELLATIONS I was moved, surprised and deeply impressed by Arrangements In Blue, an exquisitely rendered interrogation of romantic love and how we need it or don't. I didn't realise until reading Amy Key's candid and sometimes elegantly brutal writing how badly I had felt the absence of this perspective in the neverending discourse around relationships and coupling. A seriously beautiful and important work I feel lucky to have encountered and which will change how many think about love in all its iterations. -- Megan Nolan, author of Acts of Desperation In Arrangements in Blue Amy Key finds a language, searing in its depth and honesty, for desire, shame, grief and, crucially, for compassion, for the peace that comes of holding on and letting go in the same instant. -- Kayo Chingonyi, A Blood Condition Profound and poetic, vulnerable yet brave, I devoured Amy Key's memoir about love, loss, memory and hope. An incredible writer, a stunning debut. -- Lisa McGee, creator of Derry Girls There is a whole life pulsing within these pages, written with both clarity and eloquence, a glittering brightness that glints like stars in a navy velvet sky. A book to be read in astonishment and in admiration. Bewitching. -- Doireann Ni Ghriofa, author of A Ghost in the Throat An exquisite book whose beauty sweetly stung me. Amy writes just like Joni sings - her voice is disarming, immersive, sunlit, charged with ecstatic feminine power. -- May-Lan Tan, author of Things to Make and Break Arrangements in Blue took my breath away. Amy Key has the uncanny ability to distil a feeling into an image of total beauty and clarity; the language is crystalline, the book as a whole radically tender. Even in the process of reading it for the first time I knew it would be a book I would return to again and again. -- Sophie Mackintosh, author of Blue Ticket Amy Key's extraordinary Arrangements in Blue isn't merely a commentary on Joni Mitchell's Blue, but something bolder, more personal and shape-shifting, in line with Joni's own art in that it takes no starting point for granted. It makes itself up on its own terms. An intimate, absorbing inquiry of what self-care means to a life, and how to go forward when you put the map of romantic attachment to the side. -- Paul Lisicky, author of Later: My Life at the Edge of the World From grief to anger to full-throttled joy, Amy Key hits every note of feeling with perfect pitch. Arrangements in Blue grows out of a poet's obsession with Joni Mitchell's iconic album, but at its heart this book is a brave and brilliant exploration of how one woman lives both alone and alongside romance. An absolutely gorgeous work. -- Heather Christle, author of The Crying Book I love Amy Key. -- Lauren Laverne

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