Busy Being Free

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781474620642

Price: £9.99

ON SALE: 25th May 2023

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Memoirs

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‘Beautiful’ Nigella Lawson
‘I adored it’ Dolly Alderton
‘Wonderful’ Lisa Taddeo
‘Intoxicating’ Abi Morgan

What happens when your story doesn’t end the way you thought it would?

When you realise – after getting married and having a baby – that you chose wrong?

When the life you dreamt of becomes something you must walk away from?

And when you then find yourself not lonely, but elated – elated to be alone with yourself?

What's Inside

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Alluring, shocking, welcome and wonderful
Lisa Taddeo, author of THREE WOMEN
The most delicious memoir that kept me in bed all day. I wonder what it is like to live with a mind like Forrest's, which makes such shooting connections between things and sees a great pattern in it all. I think she might be a genius. Eve Babitz didn't die, she just regenerated as Emma Forrest
Sophie Heawood, author of THE HUNGOVER GAMES
I've really never read about sex and been so sharply reminded about how much it is tied up with the fundamentals of being a woman. This deep part of ourselves that somehow gets side-lined and subordinated by everything else. This ecstatic voice we so often manage to ignore. I can hear Emma's voice though, and it's woken me up
Minnie Driver, author of Managing Expectations
A staggering piece of writing: I had to start it again the minute I finished reading it, and it was just as shocking, absorbing and beautiful on rereading
Nigella Lawson
Busy Being Free utterly thrilled me with its exposition of loneliness, solitude, and the differences between the two. How wonderful to be privy to many sides of a marriage and what comes after it, how wonderful to be shown so vividly that the end of a formal relationship is not the end of life nor even the end of that particular love. Emma Forrest is a master of voicing those human instincts and thoughts which feel too murky or ingrained to be articulated, and yet here she is doing so with enviable elegance on every page
Megan Nolan, author of Acts of Desperation
Compelling, mystical, deeply moving, darkly funny. Busy Being Free is a poetic, incisive, uncensored study of female solitude. I adored it.
Dolly Alderton
This book had me from the first few lines. It's bracingly honest, brilliantly written, and very, very sexy. Take it somewhere no one can find you - a hotel, a beach, or foreign country - and celebrate your solitude with the same energy as Emma Forrest
Tanya Shadrick, author of The Cure for Sleep
Busy Being Free is a perfect combination of sharp, moving and funny. A story about marriage and its life beyond divorce, but also about how we define ourselves through our relationships and the physical and emotional transformation that comes with maturity and middle age. This is a brave book as it explores love, lust and female desire to the bone, but does it with such airy effortlessness that it becomes a gift we can all learn from
Lily Dunn, author of Sins of My Father
A heart-rending and acerbic memoir of appetite and abstinence
Polly Samson, author of A Theatre for Dreamers
Not to be missed... Disarmingly candid, she reveals how she put herself back together after shattering heartbreak.
Helen Whitaker, GRAZIA
Emma Forrest can write the hell out of anything but where she truly excels is when she's writing about her life, which is often like something out of a novel... A glorious, sharp-as-a-tack-but-full-of-soul exploration of heartbreak and what happens next.
Sarra Manning, RED MAGAZINE
Her writing hums with life, honesty and intelligence and underneath the romance and red carpets is loneliness and vulnerability.
Marianne Power, THE TIMES
Deeply moving and wryly warm.
A beautiful, unputdownable memoir about love and heartbreak, sex and celibacy, growing up and starting again.
A rollicking good read - a lyrical and titillating journey through Los Angeles and North London.
Honeysuckle Weeks, MAIL ON SUNDAY
Forrest is examining, with an unflinching eye and a formidable cultural frame of reference... what it means for a woman to find herself alone in her 40s and to redefine herself outside a context of marriage, motherhood and men... One of Forrest's greatest gifts as a writer - apart from her humour; like its predecessor, Busy Being Free is frequently hilarious - is her instinct for ambiguity. She writes so well about messy lives because she understands the contradictions we are all prone to... the fact that she has written about this mid life excavation with such ferocity and frankness is cause for celebration.
Stephanie Merritt, THE OBSERVER
As well as being elegantly written, Busy Being Free is eminently readable - a treasure trove of profound insights into love, lust and female desire.
Emma Lee Potter, DAILY MIRROR
Hitting themes of heartbreak, romance, celibacy and self-discovery, it's a testament to the power of putting yourself first.
Alicia Lansom, REFINERY 29
Reading Busy Being Free isn't like reading at all, in the sense that you will never look at how many pages you have left, or wonder whether this was the page you got stuck on last night before sleep. It's more like drinking, or watching TV (no higher praise, in this books column). It is funny, compelling, and the product of a singular, valuable mind.
Nick Hornby, The Believer