DIVIDED LIVES UK Paperback Cover

Lyndall Gordon’s riveting memoir DIVIDED LIVES: DREAMS OF A MOTHER AND A DAUGHTER is released in paperback today.

Initially published in hardback by Virago in June 2014, the book has received many excellent reviews, including this from Anne Sebba of The Jewish Chronicle, who calls it a ‘profoundly moving memoir’ and ‘a tender tribute to a mother who taught her to love and cherish books.’

On Wednesday 25 February, she will be interviewed at the Jewish Book Week by Louise Jacobs, chief executive of the London Jewish Cultural Centre. This interview will take place in the Raymond Burton House of the Jewish Museum, Camden Town  at 1 PM.

Lyndall will be joining a radio broadcast on Newstalk FM on the 8 March to talk about Henry James. She will also be appearing at several events across the UK in the coming months, where readers will have the opportunity to hear her talk about her memoir and her acclaimed biographies, which include works on T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson and Charlotte Bronte, among others.

On Sunday 8 March she’ll be talking about Emily Dickinson at the Women of the World Festival at the Southbank Centre, with actress Juliet Stevenson reading Dickinson’s poems.

 On Saturday 28 March, Lyndall will take part in a conversation at the Oxford Literary Festival with Selina Todd, writer and historian at the University of Oxford, to discuss the research and the shaping of narrative in non-fiction. More info and tickets can be found here.

On 5 May, she will appear at the Chipping Campden Literature Festival, with more engagements to be confirmed in the months following.

Lyndall Gordon was born in Cape Town during the Second World War, where she grew up with a mother who suffered from epilepsy, an illness little understood and scarcely spoken of in the family and community then. DIVIDED LIVES is the gripping and poetic result of an upbringing in which Lyndall was her mother’s carer and companion, sharing stories and a love of poetry and literature, then forging her own way in a changing world.  Exploring family heritage, apartheid, literature and feminism, it is a deeply thought-provoking and inspiring book.

Lyndall’s earlier memoir SHARED LIVES about a group of young women growing to womanhood in 1950s South Africa is also available from Virago.

Visit Lyndall’s website.

Praise for Lyndall Gordon:

‘A biographer with soul, she reaches into the hearts of those she brings alive for us. She makes the meaning of their lives sing and sweat as she invites us into their experiences, their longings, their struggles and their disappointments.’ – Susie Orbach, The Observer

‘Gordon is one of the best biographers writing today.’ – Catherine Hollis, Sacramento Book Review

‘A gifted storyteller.’ – Carmela Ciuraru, Miami Herald


‘A wonderful – and at times painful – memoir about the expectations of love and duty between mother and daughter.’ – The Bookseller, Editor’s Picks

‘In this fascinating mix between memoir and biography, we see the struggle of a daughter, to keep an attachment with her mother that is both close and yet boundaried, separate and connected, an attachment in which each can live their dreams.’ – Susie Orbach, The Observer

‘Daughterhood, as Lyndall Gordon demonstrates in her intense and semi-poetic family memoir, is a complex and demanding role. In prose both lyrical and meticulous, Gordon describes a relationship … from which no woman is exempt. A disturbing and often beautiful book that confronts heritage, selfishness, infidelity and obsessive secrecy, and which explores and ultimately celebrates the lifelong emotional seesaw between parent and child.’  – Juliet Nicolson, Evening Standard