The Sound of Turquoise

Gill Gregory

"This subtle, beautifully written narrative is irresistible. Built from stories within stories, memories within memories, it tells of a girl growing up in the sixties haunted by the three men in her family - her brother who has severe epilepsy, her mysterious psychiatrist father and her exotic Russian grandfather. The tenderness and the bleakness, the jokes and the tragic tensions evoked in Gill Gregory's book are unforgettable. She is a fine writer with a gripping story to tell."

Isobel Armstrong

Meg begins to make sense of her history when she reads an account of her Russian grandfather's childhood. Fourteen year old Alexis' life is devastated when gunmen execute his parents and siblings on their estate in Tashkent, from which he flees by train in 1904. She is entranced by his story, which includes a friendship with Benjamin Britten and a tale attached to Constable's painting, Chain Pier, Brighton.

When Meg begins to write later in her life, her warm, spirited voice tells a story which will resonate with anyone who has felt strangely alone within their own family.

Spanning the 20th century The Sound of Turquoise challenges our perceptions of love and loss. This is a remarkable work of life writing that leads us to explore our ancestry in order to understand the ways in which the past continues to haunt and shape our lives in the present.

Key features/publicity

  • Reviews in Times Literary Supplement/ London Review of Books/Life writing Magazine: Radio 4 Woman's Hour
  • Author giving talks on the book at Tate Britain and SIBS, a charity for the siblings of disabled or mentally ill people

Author info

Gill Gregory taught in adult education before being awarded a PhD in English at Birkbeck College, University of London. For the past ten years she has worked as a lecturer at The University of Notre Dame. She has reviewed for the Times Literary Supplement and other publications include a monograph on Adelaide Procter, Poetry, Feminism & Fathers (Ashgate). Her first collection of poetry, In Slow Woods, is published by Rufus Books.

"Gill Gregory's poems have the economy of proverb combined with an emotional and intellectual force that resonates far beyond their spare lines."

Dr Andrew Teverson

The Sound of Turquoise

Publication details

  • Publication date: Autumn 2009
  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: Demi
  • Price: £10.99
  • Extent: 166 pp
  • ISBN: 978-1-899999-46-0
  • Categories: Life-writing/memoir