I have been reading a lot of narrative non-fiction and recently finished The Missing List by Clare Best, published by the independent publisher Linen Press which is ‘run by women for women’. This is a book which will be both hard to forget and hard to remember. It is a powerful memoire in which the author writes in order to be able to come to terms with the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her father.
In my professional life, I have worked with a lot of children and teenagers who have been subjected to sexual abuse and I wish I had read this, then. The bravery and clarity with which Clare Best explores the impact of her childhood is difficult to read, but both important and moving. The writing moves between memoire, transcriptions of interviews with her dying father and disarmingly objective descriptions of cine film and the quality of it never slips. I am not surprised to discover she is a poet.
Clearly, The Missing List resonates with me as an author as I too, in Telling Stories, have sought to find the mosaic of genres which will finally pin down a subject which squirms and shifts and resorts to lies and denial when the pressure is on.