Bad Blood: A Memoir

Lorna Sage

20th Anniversary Edition with an introduction by Frances Wilson

From a childhood of gothic proportions, through teenage pregnancy in the 1960s, Lorna Sage vividly and wittily brings to life a vanished time and place and illuminates the lives of three generations of women in one of the most critically acclaimed memoirs of all time.

Lorna Sage’s outstanding memoir of childhood and adolescence brings to life her eccentric family and bizarre upbringing in rural Wales.

The period is evoked through a wickedly funny and deeply intelligent account: from the 1940s, dominated for Lorna by her dissolute but charismatic vicar grandfather; through the 1950s, where the invention of fish fingers revolutionised the lives of housewives like Lorna’s mother; to the brink of the 1960s, where Lorna’s pregnancy at 16 outraged those around her, an event her grandmother blamed on the fiendish invention of sex.

Bad Blood vividly and wittily explores a vanished time and place, and illuminates the lives of three generations of women.

Reviews of Bad Blood: A Memoir

    • ‘In a class of its own … It is a measure of her achievement that she can turn the peculiarities of her own past – and they are peculiar – into a narrative that speaks for the whole of post-war Britian … This is not just an exquisite personal memoir, it is a vital piece of our collective past.’ Daily Telegraph
    • ‘A wonderful book. Women need this kind of book but perhaps men need it more, to give the sort of understanding which we still lack of how girls actually grow up.’ Margaret Forster
    • ‘This could have been the saddest book you have ever read, but because of Lorna Sage’s relish in the details, her exuberant celebration of the vitality of this clever, surviving girl, it is as enjoyable a book as I remember reading.’Doris Lessing
    • ‘[a] rich, justly acclaimed autobiography … this almost perfect memoir is a tribute to imperfection’ Independent
    • ‘An almost unbearably eloquent memoir … Bad Blood is also a tale of shared consciousness, and although the lives Sage describes clash with and limit her own, there is much that is redemptive here, and even elegiac’ Frances Wilson, Guardian