- Paperback: 270 pages
- Publisher: Black Cat; Reprint edition (2 February 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780802124609
- ISBN-13: 978-0802124609
- ASIN: 0802124607
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.3 x 20.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 358 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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The Iceberg: A Memoir Paperback – 2 Feb 2016
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Praise for THE ICEBERG: "Truly extraordinary...one of the most haunting and achingly honest explorations of grief in recent memory...elegantly composed...like any great work of art, "The Iceberg" doesn't merely represent what it sets out to depict; it deftly communicates the emotional truth behind it."--Mary Elizabeth Williams, Los Angeles Times "This book is about love and witness...the pared-down quality of this memoir adds universality and is part of its tensile strength...Its cover should be stamped this way: 'Contains not one glib sentence.'"--Dwight Garner New York Times "The most moving book I have read in some time...It is a harrowing read, as you would expect, but also beautifully written and intensely powerful."--Bill Bryson New York Times Book Review, "By the Book" "Profoundly moving...the intertwining journeys of father and son make this intricate tale of life and death all the more powerful...exquisite."--Publishers Weekly "Riveting...poignant memoir...A poetic and moving chronicle of loss."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "An extraordinary memoir... one of the most astonishing books. I was transfixed by it. [Coutts'] work is marvelously wrought and quite experimental, yet says very blunt things."--Helen MacDonald, Guernica "A fierce love letter-cum-elegy... This is far more than just another book about grief."--Marina Warner, Observer "A memoir quite unlike any other. It has the strength of an arrow: taut, spiked, quavering, working to its fatal conclusion...an extraordinary story told in an extraordinary way."--Sunday Times "The most heartbreaking memoir of the year."--Independent on Sunday "A book that clearly had to be written...to be read by anyone who ever pauses to consider our mortality."--Sunday Telegraph "The Iceberg is mesmerizing, harrowing, and radiant... it is impossible to put it down."--Daily Mail (UK) "An extraordinary vigil of a book, a work of art."--Observer "Unflinching yet uplifting...[Coutts is] a chronicler of what it means to be human."--Financial Times "The writing is lyrical, textured, perfectly paced; the sentences short so that we feel Coutts's moments of panic, her quickened heartbeat... [A] startlingly beautiful and inspiring pioneer text."--Independent "[Coutts] chooses her words with such beautiful scrupulousness, never twisting or turning the knife of her story to exact our pity or admiration; her thought is like sensation, her descriptions of feeling are often like notes for a visual work... Her book is a homage to an exceptional man; it's also the work of an exceptional woman artist."--Guardian "Marion Coutts' account of living with her husband's illness and death is wise, moving and beautifully constructed. Reading it, you have the sense of something truly unique being brought into the world - it stays with you for a long time after."--Bill Bryson (Wellcome Prize citation) "Extraordinary... Not quite like any other bereavement memoir."--Evening Standard "Searing, shocking, unflinching, profoundly moving."--Spectator
About the Author
Marion Coutts is an artist and writer. She works in sculpture, film and video and has exhibited widely nationally and internationally, including the Foksal Gallery, Warsaw; Yorkshire Sculpture Park; and the Wellcome Collection, London. She has held fellowships at Kettle¹s Yard, Cambridge and Tate Liverpool. She is a Lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College. She lives in London with her son. This is her first book.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Amazon.com: 54 reviews
Devastating and devastatingly beautiful. Will take you places I can almost guarantee ...3 February 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
Devastating and devastatingly beautiful. Will take you places I can almost guarantee you will immediately be able to go, you will have to come back to. Like a leaf in a maelstrom the reader is tossed, whirled, blasted in the winds of rage and pain, then finally left to drift down into a wondrous grace. Marion Coutts poetic rendering of every confusion, every fear, every moment of transcendence is as unique a voice as any I have ever read on any subject; when the subject is this profound it is beyond imagining that she could capture it so completely, and hand it whole to her reader. I found out about this book when Bill Bryson mentioned it in a New York Times interview. I believe he listed it when asked what book last made him cry. I am so glad he led me to it.
7 people found this helpful
An Iconic Work15 August 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
This is an extraordinary book that touches the depths of both sorrow and joy in loving, of strength and frailty in living, and of the mix of life and death for a family immersed in terminal illness. The irony of her husband's loss of speech due to the illness counterposed with the learning to talk by her little son is deeply affecting. Coutts has written a standout work in this memoir, one that grabbed me from the start and will not let me go after finishing the book.
21 people found this helpful
A gorgeous journal of a deeply painful loss7 July 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
The Iceberg reads like what it most certainly is -- a journal kept by the author from the moment of her husband's diagnosis until his death. I understand that for a writer, what Nora Ehpron said is true: "Everything is Copy." Yet, I was continually aware, reading this, that even as the author grieved and struggled, she was consciously fashioning a record that she must have intended all along would find its way into print. The level of detail is such that this must have been a day by day account, and not a memoir "recollected in tranquility." Having said that, I found it gorgeously written, penetratingly sad, tough going in places, but ultimately rewarding and worth having read. Other reviewers faulted this account because the author did not fully develop her husband as a personality. But this is not a novel, and he is not a character. This is her journal, her story, and there were many instances, such as, for example, her joy when she got a late night or early morning phone call from her husband (who was in hospital) that gave you to understand how connected they were and what an incredible loss this was for her. Marion Coutts manages to convey her love, grief loss, with incredible sensitivity and without sentimentality.
2 people found this helpful
what it is to be loved, valued21 April 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
I have read two incredibly powerful books almost back to back: the history of Ravensbruck, the Nazi concentration camp for women, and now, The Iceberg. Oh boy. The Iceberg. A memoir by Marion Coutts that narrates her husband's illness with brain cancer. I won't say battle because there is no winning. Sparsely and precisely written, but packed with underlying currents that are extremely intense. Coutts is startlingly very matter-of-fact, but in this memoir, she underlines what it is to be human, what it is to be ill, what it is to be loved, valued, needed, and what it means to lose the floor beneath you. Never sentimental, never maudlin, never morose, never pitying, we follow Coutts and her small family through to the inevitable; her husband dies. We know this from the beginning. But it is the path we take with them that is shocking, naked, and raw. And you feel it. It's not a simple read, and after I finished it, I sat on the couch for a long time, just sitting. Everything I could possibly do seemed insignificant after reading the last line. And that is what makes this book so profound, and make Coutts such a force of a writer. Not an easy read, but an incredible one.
2 people found this helpful
Edward V. Blanchard
A difficult journey with a great guide!7 February 2017 - Published on Amazon.com
This is a very tough, great memoir, a difficult journey as a wife & mother participates in her husban'd ultimately (inevitably) unsuccessful battle with brain cancer. But she is a trenchant and honest & sometimes poetic writer, and it is a worthwhile, if difficult, journey to take with her & her husband & young son! I experienced many of the same peaks & valleys as I lost my wife to a similar cancer, & I doubt anyone will surpass her for capturing such hard times. (Although I feel she behaved better than me.). I highly recommend this book!
2 people found this helpful