Linen Press has acquired UK and Commonwealth Rights, for prize-winning poet Clare Best’s powerful memoir THE MISSING LIST, from Hattie Grunewald at Blake Friedmann.

Andrew O'Hagan has called it ‘a tapestry of time – brightly coloured, beautifully orchestrated, emotionally pure.’

Clare’s memoir, THE MISSING LIST, is poised at the approaching death of a father who may never acknowledge or resolve family secrets that brought her untold distress in her childhood and into her adult life. His silence could leave her emotionally adrift, searching for freedom from the past, and an ending. Runner-up in the Mslexia Memoir Competition 2015, the writing is layered and delicate, exploring memory and reflection, illusion and reality, lies and truth. Crafted from ‘a collection of off-cuts’, the book binds together parts of Clare’s own journal, tape-recordings of her father talking about his life, and family scenes from Super 8 home movie footage which her father filmed. She says that writing her story was ‘the most difficult thing I’ve done.’

With five poetry publications to her name, Clare has won and been shortlisted for numerous poetry prizes including the Bridport and Seamus Heaney. She has been published in anthologies from Bloodaxe, Bloomsbury, Emma Press, HappenStance, Five Leaves Press and Frogmore Press amongst others. She teaches creative writing for the Open University and for the Autobiography and Life Writing Programme in Brighton. She led the ‘Tools for Writing’ workshops for life prisoners at HMP Shepton Mallet (Outside In project, 2004) and was writer in residence at Woodlands Organic Farm from 2006 to 2008 and at the University of Brighton in 2015.

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Clare Best’s THE MISSING LIST is a finalist for the Mslexia Memoir Prize

Clare Best’s brilliant and moving memoir THE MISSING LIST has been selected as one of three finalists for the 2015 Mslexia Memoir Prize. The prize is worth £5,000 and is for previously unpublished women memoirists. The prize was judged by Julie Myerson (memoirist, novelist), Jenny Brown (literary agent) and Jane Martinson (Women's Editor, Guardian). The winners were announced in the March issue of Mslexia.

Andrew O'Hagan describes the memoir as ‘A tapestry of time – brightly coloured, beautifully orchestrated, emotionally pure.’

Clare Best has worked as a bookbinder, a bookseller, an editor and a Creative Writing teacher. She is currently Writer in Residence at the University of Brighton. Clare is a prize-winning poet and the author of three poetry publications – TREASURE GROUND (HappenStance 2009), BREASTLESS (Pighog 2011) and EXCISIONS (Waterloo 2011) which was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize 2012.

Praise for Clare Best:

‘Clare Best writes of the things of the world, and of the moments in our lives, as if they bear within them secrets of mortality that words will never quite have the power to reveal. She writes with scruple and clarity, listening always for the unsaid and the unsayable, watching for the passage of flame into darkness.’ – Michael Hulse

 ‘Clare Best’s poetry dazzles with the clarity of its chiseled phrases and its measured form. Perhaps the confessional narrative it tells, of encounters with mortality through the loss of her parents and her own preventive double mastectomy, warrants a desire for such poetic control.’ - Eva C. Karpinski, Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme