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Kiss Myself Goodbye

The Many Lives of Aunt Munca

Ferdinand Mount



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05 January 2021
'Grimly funny and superbly written, with a twist on every page' - Hilary Mantel 'Delightfully compulsive and unforgettably original' - Hadley Freeman Shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize 2021 Aunt Munca never told the truth about anything. Calling herself after the mouse in a Beatrix Potter story, she was already a figure of mystery during the childhood of her nephew Ferdinand Mount. Half a century later, a series of startling revelations sets him off on a tortuous quest to find out who this extraordinary millionairess really was. What he discovers is shocking and irretrievably sad, involving multiple deceptions, false identities and abandonments. The story leads us from the back streets of Sheffield at the end of the Victorian age to the highest echelons of English society between the wars.

Kiss Myself Goodbye is both an enchanting personal memoir like the author's bestselling Cold Cream, and a voyage into a vanished moral world. An unconventional tale of British social history told backwards, its cryptic and unforgettable protagonist Munca joins the ranks of memorable aunts in literature, from Dickens' Betsy Trotwood to Graham Greene's Aunt Augusta.
By:   Ferdinand Mount
Imprint:   Continuum
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   542g
ISBN:   9781472979421
ISBN 10:   1472979427
Pages:   272
Publication Date:   05 January 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Ferdinand Mount is a novelist, essayist and former editor of the Times Literary Supplement from 1991 to 2002. He was previously head of the Number Ten Policy Unit under Margaret Thatcher. As a journalist, he has contributed regular columns to the Spectator, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times. His novel Of Love and Asthma, part of a six-volume series, A Chronicle of Modern Twilight, won the Hawthornden Prize in 1992. He lives in North London with his family.

Reviews for Kiss Myself Goodbye: The Many Lives of Aunt Munca

Aunt Munca flees the streets of Sheffield for a suite at Claridges, getting younger by the year and leaving behind her a trail of brazen lies and shattered pieties. In his family memoir, Ferdinand Mount pursues her with wit and skill through a career in which crime pays, marriage is for a week, and children are lost like old gloves. Kiss Myself Goodbye is grimly funny and superbly written, with a twist on every page. * Hilary Mantel, author of the Wolf Hall Trilogy * Delightfully compulsive and unforgettably original. Mount unpeels the layers of this mysterious life with the tenacity of an experienced detective and the excitement of a fresh-eyed enthusiast. * Hadley Freeman, author of House of Glass: The Story and Secrets of a Twentieth-Century Jewish Family * Extraordinary ... shed[s] a brilliant light on the strangeness of people's lives, the need for disguise and masquerade, the shame that drives people to act in the most peculiar ways, the ghosts that reside, unburied, within us. * Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday * Delicious ... As well as an ear for the cadences of a sentence, Mount has a remarkable ability to convey the feeling of place ... Beneath the surface of this sparklingly wry book you sense all kinds of unexplored feelings of abandonment and loss. * The Oldie * Mount is one of our finest prose stylists and Kiss Myself Goodbye is a witty, moving and beautifully crafted account of one woman's determination to live to the full. * Daily Telegraph * An extraordinary book * Tatler * Unique and immensely enjoyable. I only wish it were longer. * Spectator * Kiss Myself Goodbye is a work of beauty. The simple truthfulness of Ferdinand Mount's storytelling is irresistible. * Literary Review *

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