Janice Galloway’s THE TRICK IS TO KEEP BREATHING published as a Vintage Classic today!

Janice Galloway’s seminal novel THE TRICK IS TO KEEP BREATHING is reissued by Vintage as one of their Vintage Classics today, with a brand new cover.

THE TRICK IS TO KEEP BREATHING was first published by Polygon in 1989. The novel won the MIND/Allen Lane Book of the Year and was also shortlisted for both the Whitbread First Novel and Scottish First Book awards.

Joy Stone, a 27-year-old drama teacher, has come undone. Suffering from a deep depression, the problems of everyday living accumulate and begin to torture her, and she attributes her difficulties not to troubles at work, or to the accidental death of her illicit lover, but to herself. While painful and deeply serious, this is a novel of great warmth and energy, as Joy is forced to learn that the trick to survival is to find those things that let life go on. The wit and irony found in moments of despair prove to be Joy's salvation and add a completely original note to women's writing.

Janice Galloway was born in Ayrshire in 1955. She is the author of three novels, three collections of short stories and two memoirs. She has been writer in residence to four Scottish prisons, Research Fellow to the British Library, resident at Jura Distillery, and was recently the first Fellow in Residence at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Her radio work includes two series for BBC (LIFE AS A MAN and IMAGINED LIVES) and programmes on music and musicians. She also works extensively with musicians, visual artists and typographers.


"An account from the inside of a mind cracking up. . . its writing is as taut as a bowstring. From brilliant title to closing injunction, it hums with intelligence, clarity, wit; and, its heroine's struggle for order and meaning seduces our minds, exposes how close we all of us are to insanity. Joy, as Galloway's heroine reluctantly lets us know that she's called, is simply that dangerous step or two nearer the edge" - The Listener

Resembles Tristram Shandy as rewritten by Sylvia Plath.’ – New York Times

 ‘Unsentimental, caustic, brilliantly observed ... The trick of her writing is how easy she makes it seem, how artfully she restructures and transforms the ordinary.’ – Time Out

 Praise for Janice Galloway:

‘She provides sentences blazing with light, a gorgeous draft of terror.’ – The Observer

‘Galloway catches detail perfectly and can create vivid impressions in a word or two.’ – The Times