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The Centre of the Bed: An Autobiography

The Centre of the Bed: An Autobiography

‘Honest and intriguing … beautifully written.’ The Observer

Joan Bakewell’s life and times spans the Blitz in Manchester, Cambridge during the glittering era of Michael Frayn, Peter Hall, Jonathan Miller et al, London at its most exciting in the swinging sixties and the world of the media and the arts from the 60s to the present.

As she reflects on the choices she has made and the influences that shaped her, she confronts painful childhood memories of her mother’s behaviour and describes both her affair with Harold Pinter and her two marriages with remarkable honesty. Throughout she uses her own experience to explore the extraordinary change in women’s roles during her lifetime.

This is no ordinary celebrity autobiography but a memoir that is beautifully written, frank and absorbing, which draws a thought-provoking portrait of Britain in the last 70 years.

Dame Joan Bakewell was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship in 2019.
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Genre: Biography & True Stories / Biography: General / Biography: Arts & Entertainment / Autobiography: Arts & Entertainment

On Sale: 21st November 2019

Price: £8.99

ISBN-13: 9781529362183

Reviews

Like the devil in the Rolling Stones' song, Joan Bakewell was everywhere at every stage: reporting on the Cuban missile crisis, interviewing Allen Ginsberg and Vaclav Havel, taking chunks out of the Berlin Wall when it fell...draped in the kaftan of Sixties sophistication...her evocations of grief [are] powerful and honest.
Independent on Sunday
Joan Bakewell's superb autobiography is honest and intriguing, but it is also beautifully-written...Contemplating her gender, Cambridge, politics, ideas, she appears charming without being self-righteous. Well conveyed is the tension she felt between seizing opportunities finally available to women like herself and the enduring expectations of motherhood and the perfect family.
The Observer
She has the rare ability to observe her life from a semi-detached position and to lace her own story into the social history of our times
Michael Cockerell, Daily Mail
A beautifully written, fascinating glimpse into the childhood and personal life of the woman who was one of the pioneers for equality for women in the BBC.
Lesley Pearse, Daily Mail
vividly believable and tinged with sadness...a tender, unshowy memoir
Casilda Grigg, The Telegraph
Wise and wry
The Times
Few can match Bakewell for the qualities that abound in her book: class and composure and a deeply unfashionable concern for more than her own career.
Lesley White, Sunday Times
Bakewell's level-headed discussion of her ambivalent response to the tag (the 'thinking man's crumpet') makes fascinating reading...as does her calm but moving account of her lengthy affair with Harold Pinter.
The Sunday Times
Mesmerising
Caroline Gascoigne, Books of the Year, Sunday Time