That's How it Was

That's How It Was Maureen Duffy

That's How it Was

'I was just a girl and life offered only things I despised: houses, children, security, housework. I had to pass. I had to. I had to be different.'

Paddy is illegitimate, the daughter of another Paddy -- an active member of the IRA who abandons her English mother, Louey, at her birth. This is the story of that mother -- frail, but with an indomitable spirit -- of that daughter -- and of their life together, seen through the clear eyes of Paddy as a child and adolescent. The working class life of wartime England is wonderfully evoked and the subtle changing relationship between Paddy and Louey is movingly conveyed.

'Maureen Duffy creates the world of her childhood and adolescence so that one can feel, smell, and taste it' Doris Lessing

'Maureen Duffy is one of the few British writers of fiction of real class' Financial Times

'An experienced, prolific novelist; nothing she writes can fail' Daily Telegraph

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09 Mar 2016
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About the author

  • Maureen Duffy

    Maureen Duffy

    Maureen Duffy (b. 1933 in Worthing, Sussex) is a notable contemporary British poet, playwright and novelist. After a tough childhood, Duffy took her degree in English from King’s College London. She went on to be a schoolteacher from 1956 to 1961, and edited three editions of a poetry magazine called the sixties. She then turned to writing full-time as a poet and playwright after being commissioned to produce a screenplay by Granada Television. Her first novel, written at the suggestion of a publisher, That's How It Was (1962), was published to great acclaim. Her first openly lesbian novel was The Microcosm (1966), set in the famous lesbian Gateways club in London.

    Titles by Maureen Duffy

    The Erotic World of Faery
    The Microcosm
    The Passionate Shepherdess
    That's How It Was Maureen Duffy