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  • Published: 12 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473553491
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240


Scenes from a Vanished Life

A memoir from one of our best-loved and best-selling authors. A beautiful and compelling glimpse into a world now lost and the birth of a writer

*The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller*

Rose Tremain (or Rosie as she was then) grew up in post-war London – a city still partly in ruins, where both food and affection were fiercely rationed.

But when she is ten years old, everything changes. She loses her father, her house, her school, her friends and is dispatched to a freezing boarding-school in Hertfordshire. Slowly though, the teenage Rosie escapes from the cold world of the Fifties, into a place of inspiration and friendship, where a young writer is suddenly ready to be born.

‘An evocative, unflinching memoir...electric’ Mail on Sunday

  • Published: 12 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473553491
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

About the author

Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain’s novels and short stories have been published in thirty countries and have won many awards, including the Orange Prize (The Road Home), the Dylan Thomas Award (The Colonel's Daughter and Other Stories), the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music & Silence) and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Sacred Country). Her most recent novel, The Gustav Sonata, was a Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller. It won the National Jewish Book Award in the US, the South Bank Sky Arts Award in the UK and was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. Rose Tremain was made a CBE in 2007 and a Dame in 2020. She lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer, Richard Holmes.


Also by Rose Tremain

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Praise for Rosie

A beautifully written ode to the tenacity of our younger selves

Francesca Brown, Stylist

Rose Tremain turns to non-fiction for the first time with this lyrical account of her life up to the age of 18 ... The evocation of 1950s schoolgirldom, with all its emotions, elations and smells, is wonderfully vivid - distinctive, like being donated a set of dreams ... A quiet drama, but as you'd expect it's the writing that makes this book such a delight

Claire Harman, Evening Standard

This poignant memoir ... A telling portrait of what went into the making of one of our most acclaimed novelists

Fanny Blake, Woman & Home

This slim, elegant - sometimes shocking - study of maternal failure is also a love letter to her nanny

Lisa Allardice, The Guardian

Rose Tremain manages to fit more wisdom, more unforgettable scenes, more illuminating recollections, into this 194-page memoir than other writers do in memoirs three times the length. A book as nourishing, but concise as this makes you wonder why other writers have to be so long-winded ... For anyone who loves Tremain's novels this memoir is a vital companion

Ysenda Maxton Graham, The Times

The author uses her considerable narrative skills of set-up and delayed revelation to keep the reader enthralled ... Fans of her novels will know that Tremain has a brilliant eye for visual information, vividly deployed here

John Walsh, The Sunday Times

In the manner of a certain kind of photograph album, it captures rather beautifully a privileged postwar world ... Fascinating ... Perfectly delicious in its way

Rachel Cooke, The Observer

Dream-like vignettes of a girl - and a world - that no longer exists ... Rosie is endlessly intriguing.

Lucy Scholes, The Independent

Intriguing and moving ... So much more alert and open and alive than so many slightly disappointing memoirs by otherwise great writers ... Rosie is a work of self-discovery in the best possible sense of the word - it pulls you in, unsettles, comforts and exhilarates and, finally, makes you see your life anew

Julie Myerson, The Spectator

Compelling, moving and nostalgic in its evocation of a bygone era

Charlotte Heathcote, Daily Express

An evocative, unflinching memoir ... electric

Hephzibah Anderson, The Mail on Sunday

Tremain did not publish her first fiction until she was 33 – this disquieting, beautifully crafted memoir shows that she was in training to be a writer from the start

Catherine Taylor, Irish Times

That most polished and elegant of novelists, Rose Tremain, has produced a memoir of her first 18 years, marked by her characteristic clarity of style and sensitivity to detail

Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph

Independent of sentimental convention ... candid ... [an] arresting book

Lucy Hughes-Hallett, The Guardian

In crisp, elegant, mostly dispassionate prose, the award-winning author of The Way I Found Her, Restoration and The Gustav Sonata unravels her upper-middle-class family history

Eithne Farry, Sunday Express

Clear and honest, full of the insight you wish you could apply to your own life.

Anna Fielding, Stylist

Beautifully written

Choice Magazine

Tremain makes this denuded upper-middle-class life both tangible and affecting

New Statesman

It would be unsurprising if this book were an inferno of rage, but its unnerving power in fact lies in its control.

Elizabeth Lowry, Times Literary Supplement

I was startled, but also very moved, by the almost abrasive directness of Rose Tremain's memoir Rosie. It did exactly what memoirs ought to do: made me want to rush straight back to her fiction

Julie Myerson, The Observer

Rose Tremain famously eschews autobiographical material in her fiction, so this account of her childhood feels so fresh it stings… [she] brings her formidable talent for characterisation to bear on the vanished, culpable cast of her childhood

Claire Lowdon, Sunday Times, **Books of the Year**

Hearth wrenching… fascinating insights into Rose Tremain’s writing life

Local Answer

Slim, elegant and illuminating

The Times, *Summer reads of 2019*