Monday, October 8, 2007

UGLY by Constance Briscoe

A few weeks ago I was in Hong Kong. There was a mall connected to the hotel. I stopped in the mall's bookstore and was surprised to see Barack Obama's book as well as The Other Mozart: The Life of the Chevalier Saint-George by Hugh Brewster.

Are you familiar with Constance Briscoe? According to her website, she "was called to the bar in 1983 and practices as a barrister. In 1996 Constance became a part time judge - one of the first black women to sit as a judge in the UK." In the book section of a Sdyney, Australia department store, I saw "UGLY" an autobiography by Judge Briscoe. Here's what I read on the back cover:

"I handed my school photograph to my mother. She stared from the photograph to me. 'Lord, sweet Lord how come she so ugly. Ugly. Ugly' These cruel words are just the beginning. Constance's mother systematically abused her daughter, both physically and emotionally, throughout her childhood. Regularly beaten and starved, the child was so desperate she took herself off to Social Services and tried to get taken into care. When Constance was thirteen, her mother simply moved out, leaving her daughter to fend for herself: there was no gas, no electricity and no food....."

I bought the book. Have a look on Amazon UK - there's over 80 comments about it! And, a sequel coming out next year. This book is near the top of my reading stack. Have you heard of UGLY?


Kelly said...

I haven't heard of this book, Kyra. It sounds really interesting. What a heartbreaking passage you quoted.

I'm so glad you started this blog!! It's one we need in the blogging community. I'll post about it tomorrow.

TadMack said...

Having just moved to the UK, I've seen this in the library. It was in Audiobooks, next to the Young Scots shelf, so I wasn't sure if it was meant to be a YA book -- I don't yet have anything on which TO listen to an audiobook, but thanks for the recommendation -- I'm all over it!

HipWriterMama said...

My heart clenched at that passage. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll be sure to look for it.

Camille said...

Wow, talk about a lump in my throat from just that passage...thank you for highlighting this book. I will be grabbing it.

Anonymous said...

hi...just passing by n saw ur post on the book UGLY...u must have read it by now...for me its the best book ever! have bought the sequel, BEYOND UGLY, haven't read it yet but sure it will be as fine as UGLY is